Equality of music and expression
„The most important question ist not about quality. It is about knowing what exactly you should sing.“ - Elchin Azizov
Prima la musica, dopo le parole – first the music, then the words? Whether music or words take priority in opera, has been discussed for ages. In the ideal case, both come together, as opera is sung theatre and the word is the motor driving the drama and action. Very few opera singers have mastered the art of doing equal justice to the musical line and expressive content of the word. One who is able to do so is Elchin Azizov. And yet, the Azerbaijani baritone is a late bloomer, as the acclaimed star of the Bolshoi Theatre and the New York Met did not begin his career as a singer. In addition to his work as a producer, director and actor, he was formerly known on Russian television as a comedian and master of puns, when his phenomenal voice was discovered by the legendary singer Galina Wischnewskaja. At her invitation, the then 30-year-old made the decision to go to Moscow to be trained as a singer at breathtaking speed by the Georgian tenor Badri Maisuradze. Shortly after that he was engaged as a permanent member of the Bolshoi Theatre.
In every role Azizov he embodies, his origins in the performing arts are clearly perceptible. Azizov does not only have an impressively rich baritone voice. His flawless diction in several languages allows him to shape every note, every change of nuancing of the texts he sings with an astoundingly idiomatic naturalness. His leading roles include Prince Igor (Prince Igor, Rimsky-Korsakov), Grigoriy Gryaznoy (Tsar's Bride, Rimsky-Korsakov), Count Tomsky (Queen of Spades, Tchaikovsky), Ibn-Hakia (Iolanta, Tchaikovsky), Lescaut (Manon Lescaut, Puccini), Rodrigo (Don Carlo, Verdi), Giorgio Germont (La traviata, Verdi) and Escamillo (Carmen, Bizet). Outside Russia, Elchin Asisov has sung at many renowned opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Opéra de Lyon, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and the Theater an der Wien.
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