Anna Netrebko performs a richly varied selection of operatic arias in her latest recording for Deutsche Grammophon. Amata dalle tenebre, set for international release on 5 November 2021 in all formats, including the 3D surround sound of Dolby Atmos, is the superstar soprano’s first classical solo album for five years. She recorded her choice of music, spanning some of the most dramatic and impassioned arias in the repertoire, at Milan’s legendary La Scala, with the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala under La Scala’s Music Director, Riccardo Chailly. Italian filmmaker Elena Petitti di Roreto has immortalised four of Netrebko’s performances in music videos that form part of her captivating and original new film: Anna – Stage of Emotions, a radical mix of the sensual essence of opera and a contemporary visual vocabulary.
On Amata dalle tenebre Anna Netrebko presents the misplaced optimism of Puccini’s “Un bel dì vedremo”, sung by Madam Butterfly; the despair of “Sola, perduta, abbandonata!” from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut; and the resignation and yearning central to “Tu che le vanità”, an emotional tour-de-force from Verdi’s Don Carlo. In recent years, the singer has turned, with notable success, to some of opera’s more dramatic roles and she demonstrates her mastery of this repertoire here as well, bringing some wonderfully lush, dark colours to “Ritorna vincitor! … Numi, pietà del mio soffrir!” from Verdi’s Aida; “Poveri fiori” from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur; and Lisa’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame. Netrebko also performs two excerpts in German – Isolde’s tragic yet ecstatic Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and the brokenhearted Ariadne’s description of the land of death, “Es gibt ein Reich” from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Finally, in a surprise inclusion, she treats her listeners to a heartrending interpretation of Dido’s “When I am laid in earth” from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Netrebko has also broken new ground by working with renowned filmmaker Elena Petitti di Roreto to record a series of music videos for four of the tracks on the new album. The Italian director’s film, Anna – Stage of Emotions, is part documentary, part abstract and visually stunning response to some of the powerful themes that run through this music, from love and hope to death and despair. It captures Anna Netrebko’s portrayals of four operatic heroines – Aida, Lisa, Dido and Isolde – all of whom are brought individually to life thanks to the director’s unique visual language and style. Interwoven with the four music videos is an insightful interview with Netrebko, who discusses both the roles and her own life. Shot largely in the majestic setting of La Scala’s famous auditorium, the film forges connections with the opera house’s venerable history (it staged the world premiere of Madama Butterfly) and its continuing artistic excellence today under Maestro Chailly’s direction. Anna – Stage of Emotions is the perfect complement to Amata dalle tenebre.