Ernani has been an important opera in my career and my character embodies all the features of the belcanto tenor and the romantic hero, yet with all the force of Verdi’s composition. I am captivated by the beauty of this music and the immense power of its melodies. A world of amorous passion, alive with action and the feelings of iron determination seen in the fatal oath which brings death, conspiracy, pride and dignity, all revolve around the third act chorus, Si ridesti il Leon di Castiglia. It is a challenge that I am always happy to take up.
I have brought Ernani to the stage several times since 2013, starting with the unforgettable debut at the Rome Opera conducted by Riccardo Muti, with Tatiana Serjan, Luca Salsi and Ildar Abdrazakov in full creative flow. The most recent performance was last year at La Scala conducted by Ádám Fischer, again with Ildar and Luca and with Aylin Pérez as Elvira. In between, I have fond memories of other productions, at the Met with Placido Domingo and Angela Meade conducted by James Levine, in Marseilles with Ludovic Tézier and at a Salzburg Festival in a concert performance, again conducted by Muti.
It is a pleasure to be back in this role, once again as a concert performance, which in this more than other operas helps bring to the fore the music itself, almost freeing it from the acting which can be extremely intricate and weighty. We will have a young Italian conductor, Daniele Rustioni, whom I hold in great esteem. I will be singing alongside Carmen Giannattasio, Amartuvshin Enkhbat and Roberto Tagliavini.
Being Ernani in France, in Lyon, Paris and Vichy, will be a tribute to the vivid imagination of another of the great Romantics, Victor Hugo. It was from his Hernani that Francesco Maria Piave drew inspiration for the libretto which captivated Verdi.