Jaho and Pirgu, the Albanian glitter in New York and Barcelona

Two Albanian artists are upwardly excelling in two of the most prestigious world theaters.

Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho has met with laud applause at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with one of her most beloved and best performing roles, namely Cio Cio San at Madame Butterfly Opera. Jaho has had two performances in February and some others in March, thus being at the center of the public applause but also of New York’s musical criticism. The official site of MET Opera writes that the Albanian soprano grew up hoping to one day singing Cio Cio San at Madame Butterfly. She not only achieved her dream but the role has already become a success story for Jaho, who brings fresh frescoes this month at the MET opera.

Meanwhile, Saimir Pirgu has successfully performed Romeo’s role in the Romeo and Juliet Opera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

An article appeared on Euronews highlighting that it is the most famous love story of all time: Romeo and Juliet. Now Charles Gounod’s version of the Shakespearean tragedy —RomAi??o et Juliette— has returned to theAi??Gran Teatre del LiceuAi??in Barcelona.

The Liceu last performed the opera 32 years ago. This production celebrates the 200th anniversary of the French Romantic composer’s birth. Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu and Russian Operalia laureate Aida Garifullina mesmerize as the tragic lovers.

“All the young girls they want to be Juliette because they understand this image of this girl, ” Garifullina says. “She is soft. She is fragile”.Ai??The ariaAi??Je veux vivreAi??(I want to live), is an allegory, Garifullina adds. “It shows that she really wants to live this adult life, to be free, to do what she wants, just to celebrate”.“There is something really naA?ve in this aria,” Pirgu says. “It’s very beautiful to hear”.

Gounod infuses the drama with ravishing melodies, all while focusing on the two lovers. He ends by giving them a heart-wrenching final reunion in the tomb scene.

“Sometimes when I’m singing that scene, it’s quite emotionally hard for me, especially when I’m saying ‘the lastAi??baiser, the last kiss’,” Pirgu says.Ai??RomAi??o and Juliette’s love triumphs as they die together in an immortal embrace.Ai??“It’s so strong; heartbreaking,” says Garifullina. “She is adult enough to understand that the life is not only flowers, it can be really hard and difficult”.

“In the real Shakespeare this last scene doesn’t exist,” Pirgu explains, “but in the Gounod story, it gave to this opera a big power”.Ai??RomAi??o et JulietteAi??will be performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona on the 27 of February and 2 & 4 of March.

/Klara Ruci/

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