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Anna Netrebko
Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko Releases 'Amata dalle tenebre' – The Opera Star’s First Solo Album in Five Years

Anna Netrebko
© Gregor Hohenberg

Amata dalle tenebre is Anna Netrebko’s first classical solo album in five years. Released in all formats by Deutsche Grammophon today, 5 November 2021, it presents the soprano’s very personal choice of iconic arias by Cilea, Puccini, Purcell, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner, all recorded at Milan’s legendary La Scala with the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala under the opera house’s Music Director, Riccardo Chailly. The title Amata dalle tenebre, meaning “Loved by the darkness”, reflects the dramatic fate that awaits the operatic heroines featured on the album, women for whom love is inextricably bound up with darkness, even death. As part of this exciting new project, Italian filmmaker Elena Petitti di Roreto has immortalised four of Netrebko’s performances in the captivating and original film Anna – Stage of Emotions: a radical mix of the sensual essence of opera and a contemporary visual vocabulary. The film forms an integral part of the deluxe edition of the album (CD + Blu-ray). Both Amata dalle tenebre and Anna – Stage of Emotions are available in an immersive Dolby Atmos mix, which adds greater space and depth to the audio, revealing every nuance with unparalleled clarity and conveying the incredible acoustics of La Scala’s auditorium.

Netrebko’s chosen programme features six excerpts she has never recorded before, including Ritorna vincitor! … Numi, pietà del mio soffrir!” from Verdi’s Aida; Lisa’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame; and, in a rare incursion into the Baroque repertoire, “When I am laid in earth” from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. As she explains: “I wanted, at least once in my life, to sing Dido, because it’s such beautiful, heartbreaking music.” Having made her stage debut as Elsa in Lohengrin a few years ago, she also now turns to three other major roles from the German repertoire. From Wagnerian opera we have Elisabeth and her rapturous greeting to the “Hall of Song” in Tannhäuser, and Isolde, in the iconic Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. Netrebko describes recording the latter as “one of the happiest moments of my life … I was blissfully happy, in harmony with the music”. No less spectacular is her debut recording of “Es gibt ein Reich” from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

Renowned filmmaker Elena Petitti di Roreto captured four of these interpretations (Aida, Dido, Lisa and Isolde) at La Scala as the basis for a multidimensional and visually stunning cinematic portrait of the singer and her artistry. Produced by Berlin-based Rekorder GmbH, the Italian director’s film, Anna – Stage of Emotions, is part documentary, part abstract and fragmentary response to some of the powerful themes that run through this music, from love and hope to death and despair. “The four arias come from four very different stories,” notes Petitti di Roreto. “Rather than drawing a line between them, I wanted to find my narrative thread in Anna as the performer … It was important to start by understanding her and her own process.”

As well as being filmed in character on stage, Netrebko is seen in private moments off stage, lost in music in the streets of Milan. Further insight into the artist comes from the interview interwoven with the four performances, in which Netrebko discusses both the roles and her own life. Also incorporating digital layering, references to nature, images of everyday life in Milan and a sensuous, timeless love scene, Petitti di Roreto’s unique and inventive visual language conveys the message that, with its beauty, spectacle, drama and escapism, opera has something for everyone.

Anna – Stage of Emotions will be streamed on DG Stage at 8pm (CET) on 26 November 2021, and available to view for a week thereafter. Continuing her special relationship with La Scala and Maestro Chailly, Anna Netrebko stars as Lady Macbeth in the new production of Verdi’s Macbeth that will inaugurate La Scala’s 2021–22 season in December.

Amata dalle tenebre
Nov 5, 2021

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