(nato/nata il 1977)
Lingua disponibile: ingleseSoprano Aleksandra Kurzak has enough vocal beauty and charisma on-stage to be called a superstar. Critics have praised not just the resplendence of her coloratura voice but her accuracy and dramatic skills. She commands a technique that allows her to negotiate the challenging tessitura of Mozart's "Come scoglio" and has the flexibility and delicacy to render Donizetti's "Regnava nel silenzio" with melting beauty. By her early thirties, she had appeared at most of the major opera houses, including the Met, Covent Garden, Vienna State, La Scala, and many others. Kurzak has sung a variety of roles, mostly in standard operas, but she has delved into more modern fare as well, as with her portrayal of the Maid in Adès' Powder Her Face. She also appears regularly in recital and concert, and has made several recordings. Kurzak was born to a musical family in Brzeg Dolny, Poland, on August 7, 1977; her father is a French horn player, and her mother is soprano Jolanta Zmurko. Aleksandra considers her mother her greatest teacher and credits Zmurko with developing her vocal technique, despite having many other teachers in her student years. At seven, Kurzak began music studies on both the violin and piano, but her main focus would turn to the violin. She also harbored hopes for a career as a ballet dancer. It was not until she was 19 that Kurzak began vocal studies. From 1996-2000, she studied at the Wroclaw Conservatory in Poland. During this time, she was also busy in competitions and on the operatic stage: in 1998, Kurzak won the Stanislaw Moniuszko International Vocal Competition, and the following year, she debuted at the Wroclaw State Opera as Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Kurzak also won other competitions, including Barcelona's Viñas International Singing Competition in 2000. From 2001-2007, she sang with the Hamburg State Opera, first as an apprentice in the company's Young Artist program, then, from 2003, as a member. While she initially sang less important roles there, such as Kate Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, she eventually took on meatier fare, including Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto and Mozart's Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute. During this time, Kurzak also studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg. Meanwhile, invitations to the major opera houses came one after the other. Kurzak debuted at the Met in 2004 as Olympia in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann. In 2005, she debuted at Covent Garden as Aspasia in Mozart's Mitridate, rè di Ponto. Kurzak had several return engagements at the Met, including as Blonde in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio (2008), and as Gretel in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel (2011). Her La Scala debut in 2010 was also as Gilda. Kurzak signed an exclusive recording contract with the Decca label in 2010, and her first recording, Gioia, containing arias by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, and others, was issued in 2011. She has also been featured on releases from Warner Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony Classical. In 2017, Kurzak married tenor Roberto Alagna and was featured on Alagna's 2019 album Caruso 1873. In 2020, Kurzak released an album of opera arias on Sony Classical titled Desire.
© Robert Cummings /TiVo
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Classica - Uscito il 08 agosto 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.
Rising star Aleksandra Kurzak is a Polish coloratura soprano who tackles a diverse repertoire of arias on her 2011 Decca debut. Beginning with Rossini, Kurzak's "Una voce poco fa" demonstrates her power, solid technique, and unique dark vocal color. Her sound is clean, and she is clearly a wonderful musician, as she gives careful attention to each phrase and score marking: she is not simply a singer with a good, big sound. Some might question her frequent use of ornaments, but they do not seem to be out of place with Rossini. Also demonstrating her vocal flexibility is "Regnava il silenzio" by Donizetti. She lilts and sways through the aria with excellent vocal control and yet a sense of delicacy, with a strong high C and D. Yet long, lyrical lines are also seemingly effortless to Kurzak, for her "O mio babbino caro" is graceful and moving. One of the undoubted highlights is her Traviata in Verdi's "È strano... Sempre libera," which fits her like a glove: hers is a perfect Verdi voice full of rich passion. The same goes for Verdi's "Caro nome," which is warm and straight from the heart, each R rolled perfectly, and a birdlike trill at the end. Singing with Kurzak in these arias is tenor Francesco Demuro, whose bright, deeply expressive voice absolutely sobs with perfect Italian emotion in Donizetti's "Una parola, o Adina Chiedi all'aura." One must absolutely commend the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana with conductor Omer Meir Wellber, who match Kurzak's passion and excellent musicianship. One can only question her choice of Susanna in Mozart's "Giunse alfin … Deh vieni," for though she sings it with warmth, emotion, and much nuance, it is rather slow and heavy-sounding. Her voice seems too big and dark for it; perhaps this decision is taken to play it safe, as it were, and not to rush bigger, more demanding roles. The album concludes with "Do grobu trwac…" by Moniuszko from Straszny Dwór (The Haunted Manor) in Kurzak's native Polish. This aria from a famous Polish opera is done justice. She covers the range of emotions, bringing a clear sense of patriotism to the music with its march-like section. There is a lovely violin solo that is uncredited but certainly noteworthy. Kurzak is certainly one of the stronger artists around now, and here's to wishing her a long, productive career. © TiVo