Tenor Gregory Kunde triumphs as Calaf in Turandot at the Teatro Real of Madrid

2018-12-21
Tenor Gregory Kunde triumphs as Calaf in Turandot at the Teatro Real of Madrid

On November 30th the new production of Turandot premiered at the Teatro Real, in co-production with the Canadian Opera Company, the National Theatre of Lithuania and the Houston Grand Opera. The conductor is Nicola Luisotti, while stage direction, set design and lighting is by Bob Wilson. The American tenor Gregory Kunde gives life to Calaf, a role he performed recently with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Maestro Zubin Mehta, and at the last edition of the Arena di Verona Festival. His work in this production is highly praised by specialised critics from Spain and other countries:

-   “At 64, Gregory Kunde is a miracle of longevity. The acute third is sharp, the high C is impressive, the tone has an incredible youth and the musicality is always impeccable. It's rare to hear today sing this role without feeling effort, while still maintaining the excitement of a brilliant voice.” Jean Michel Pennetier (Forum Opera)

-   “After 40 years of career, Gregory Kunde presents an almost unchanging timbre and seems to have become more powerful, his singing remains not only sober and elegant (no doubt a legacy of his long experience in the belcantist repertoire), but all the difficulties of the role - triumphant treble, prolonged fiatto, endurance (the singer arrives in a state of surprising freshness before embarking on the terrifying final duo) are overcome with great skill and an apparent ease: the tenor receives at the end a spectacular ovation.” Stéphane Lelièvre (Olyrix)

-   "Gregory Kunde returned to incarnate Calaf again after the excellent perform he gave last summer at the Arena di Verona. The American tenor never cease to amaze us with his vocal freshness, precise phrasing, the nobility of the word (worthy of an Unknown Prince) and for the ease in the acute register. His performance in this Turandot is therefore excellent." (The.blogartpost)

-  "In my opinion, the best part of the evening was the performance by American tenor Gregory Kunde, as Calaf, who sang and expressed to perfection. He handled the most well-known sections brilliantly and also the more challenging ones. It must be mentioned that he did not shy away from the high C of the second act, as some of his colleagues do. He held it perfectly. He was especially brilliant in the always much-anticipated Nessun Dorma. In short, an outstanding performance by one of the most important tenors of the moment." José M. Irunzun (OperaWorld)

-  "Gregory Kunde, at the age of 60, performs a noteworthy Calaf, solid throughout the range with fiercely mastered passages from chest to head voice. A superlative incarnation." Pierre-René Serna (Concert Classic.com)

-  "Tenor Gregory Kunde superbly wraps Calaf's gestural expressionism in shimmering sound waves enshrouded in celestial nuances. He is the hearth and result of the combustion that moves his character, by means of a clear phrasing and a majesty of devouring breath." Thibault Vicq (Opera Online)

-  “An outstanding professional, Gregory Kunde has reinvented himself at the end of his career and he deserves enormous praise for it. He comes to the great roles that will mark the peak his career (Otello, Radamès, Grimes, Calaf) with vast experience and wisdom.” Luis Gago (Diario El País)

-  "Gregory Kunde was in charge of the heroic Calaf; he has been a recurrent performer at Teatro Real where he has sung in nearly every season since his debut at this house in “Roberto Devereux” in 2015. It will always amaze me to see the evolution of his voice from one of the best bel canto tenors in the 90`s (we must not forget that his stratospheric tessitura permitted him to produce a high F In full voice) to one of the most efficient dramatic tenors today. There are several opinions about his timbre, but it is undeniable that his instrument is a solid one. He possesses fine vocal projection, secure high notes, and pure line. When Kunde is singing you just feel calm; there is never that tension of wondering whether a tenor might make his way through a tricky passage or high note. You know he has it under control and it is his intensity that makes him all the more exhilirating to behold. He delivered a truly impressive high C on “Ti voglio ardente” and “Nessun Dorma” displayed all of the best qualities of his singing, capped off with a thrilling high B." Mauricio Villa (OperaWire)

-  "The American tenor Gregory Kunde captivated the audience with a Calaf that was confident and powerful." Manuel Cuella (El asombrario&Co.)