By Gonzalo Sanchez
Rome, Aug 7 (efe-epa).- Opera stars Anna Netrebko and her husband Yusif Eyvazov paid tribute to Rome, the city where they fell in love, with a gala recital.
The concert Omaggio a Roma on Thursday, which will be repeated on Sunday, was held in homage to the Italian capital, where they met onstage at the Costanzi Theatre in 2014.
They performed to a full audience in Rome’s ancient chariot racing arena Circo Massimo where the city’s summer opera season takes place this year.
The program included works by Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Cilea, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni and Umberto Giordano.
But it was a popular Italian song Chitarra Romana that stole the show, with the couple dancing together to lyrics “under a mantle of stars, beautiful Rome appears to me”.
The capital was where the Russian-Austrian soprano and the Azerbaijani tenor fell in love six years ago.
They performed together in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Eyvazov as the young hero Chevalier des Grieux and Netrebko as his lover in the title role.
The love between their characters followed them offstage and they married a year later in Vienna.
Six years later in Rome, the pair looked like newlyweds, him wearing a tailcoat and her in a white chiffon dress.
The concert began with the opening of Verdi’s Nabucco and captivated the audience with the aria Gia nella notte densa from Verdi’s Otello.
The first bravo came after Netrebko’s performance of the aria Del sultano Amuratte… Io son l’umile ancella by Adriana Lecouvreur.
Then came one of the most eagerly awaited moments of the evening, Puccini’s Tosca when she sang Vissi d’arte which was the opening of La Scala opera house in Milan last year.
This was followed by several other pieces by the Italian composer, including E Lucevan le stelle from Tosca during which Eyvazov seemed at times to truly embody the painter character Mario Cavaradossi.
The couple ended their performance hand in hand singing Vicino a te from Giordano’s Andrea Chénier.
Eyvazov portrayed the French poet Chénier and Netrebko as his lover Maddalena di Coigny facing his execution together.
They left the stage hand in hand, waving to the audience, with their fans calling for an encore.
This was delivered by Eyvazov with Nessun dorma from Turandot under the admiring gaze of his wife.
The tenor sang out the lyrics “let no one sleep” from Puccini’s work and after this display of technique and romanticism, no one present thought of doing so. EFE-EPA