Meet The Performers

Visiting Artist

Vivica Genaux

Hailing from Alaska, America's 'last frontier,' the thrilling mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux continues to earn accolades from audiences and critics alike for her enthralling performances on the world's greatest stages, praise focusing on both the unique beauty of her voice and the astounding brilliance of her technique, which combine to create unforgettable portraits of some of the most engaging characters in opera. Consistently lauded as one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Baroque and bel canto music, she continues to explore new avenues in these repertories.

During the 2013-14 season, Vivica continues to balance her appearances in the United States and abroad with operatic engagements, concerts, and recitals in new venues and locales, in addition to returns to favorite cities and institutions with which she has enjoyed triumphs in past seasons. This season, she expands her repertory with three of the most intriguing rôles in opera: Dido in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Manlio in Antonio Vivaldi's Tito Manlio, and Sesto in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's La clemenza di Tito. These parts will bring her repertory to a total of fifty-six rôles, of which thirty-six are travesti rôles. She will also sing Vagaus in Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha triumphans, as well as three of her bel canto specialties: Angelina in Rossini's La Cenerentola, Isabella in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, and Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi. She will also make her début with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Along with her numerous appearances throughout the world, Vivica will celebrate the release of two new recordings during this season, both on labels within the Sony family. In November 2013, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi will release her recording of Johann Adolph Hasse's opera Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra. Later in the season, Sony Classical will release Baroque Divas, a disc celebrating the vocal glories of the rivalry between Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. In this release, Vivica lends her talents to a quartet of today's Baroque leading ladies.

She launches her 2013-14 Season on 20 September with the first of her new rôles, Manlio in Vivaldi's Tito Manlio, at France's Festival d'Ambronay. She returns to the United States for a much-anticipated private concert with Miami-based Seraphic Fire on 12 October. A week later, on 19 October, she makes her début 'south of the border' with a performance of Baroque arias with Lars Ulrik Mortensen and his Concerto Copenhagen for Guanajuato, Mexico's Festival Cervantino. Vivica bids farewell to 2013 in Vienna, where she reprises one of her 'calling card' rôles, Angelina in La Cenerentola, at the Wiener Staatsoper (23, 27, and 30 December).

Vivica rings in the new year alongside frequent collaborators soprano Simone Kermes and Cappella Gabetta (Andrés Gabetta, Leader) with performances of a fascinating new program paying homage to the fierce but artistically productive rivalry between Eighteenth-Century powerhouses Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. Exploring the rich legacy of music composed for these superstars of Baroque opera by Bononcini, Giacomelli, Händel, Hasse, Leo, Lotti, Porpora, Porta, and Sarro, the program is premièred on 16 January at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, with subsequent presentations scheduled for later in the season and beyond. Her first performances of the rôle of the firebrand Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito take her to the Teatro Calderón in Valladolid, Spain (29, 31 January; 2 February). Vivica eagerly anticipates her first pairing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which will accompany her in concerts of jewels from her Baroque repertory under the direction of Nicholas McGegan on 13 and 18 February. March finds her in Spain for a performance of Tito Manlio at Madrid's Auditorio Nacional (23 March). Rejoining Maestro McGegan, this time with his own Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, she sings the rôle of Vagaus in Juditha triumphans throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (2, 4, 5, and 6 April). Her final new rôle of the season is that of the ill-fated Queen of Carthage, Dido, in Dido and Aeneas, whom she will introduce to the public via a production by Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie, first at the Company's home base in Rouen (9, 10, 11, and 13 May) and later at the Opera House of the Château de Versailles (14 and 15 June). Between her outings as Dido, she will sing the rôle of another star-crossed lover, Romeo in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, in a concert performance at Dortmund's Klangvokal Musikfestival on 6 June. Vivica will celebrate the start of summer by returning to her home state of Alaska to sing Isabella in L’italiana in Algeria with Opera Fairbanks (July 3 & 5). She, Ms. Kermes, and Cappella Gabetta resume their journey through the music that pitted Faustina Bordoni against Francesca Cuzzoni with performances at Lübeck's Schleswig-Holstein Festival on 22 and 23 July. Vivica brings down the curtain on her season with a series of master classes at the Weimar Festival in late July and early August.

One of the most notable highlights of Vivica's 2012-13 season was her first assumption of the rôle of the title gypsy in Georges Bizet's Carmen, which she sang to acclaim in Rouen and Versailles. A concert tour with Cappella Gabetta took her to Lucerne, Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen, Villar-sur-Glâne, Lyon, and Paris' Salle Gaveau, in conjunction with the release of her Deutsche Harmonia Mundi disc, A Tribute to Faustina Bordoni. A program of vocal works with orchestra by Manuel de Falla, Benjamin Britten, and Luciano Berio was heard in Udine. In Athens, she presented a program of Baroque and early classical arias with Armonia Atenea under Maestro George Petrou. A joint recital with bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch under the auspices of the George London Foundation took her to New York's Morgan Library, and she offered a concert of popular arias at Moscow's storied Bolshoi Theatre. In Krakow she offered Händel arias with Europa Galante and Maestro Fabio Biondi. On the operatic stage, she sang the title rôle in productions of Rossini's La Cenerentola in Hamburg, Palm Beach (Florida), and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). Her love for the music of Hasse was shared with the Viennese in a performance of the composer's Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra at the Musikverein. Vivaldi's Farnace brought her to Versailles, and she was heard in Händel's Agrippina in Madrid and Paris' Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Vivica's professional stage début was with the Florentine Opera in October 1994 as Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri. She subsequently sang the rôle with numerous companies, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, and Turin’s Teatro Regio, among others.  Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia is her most-performed rôle, which she has sung with twenty-one companies including the Wiener, Deutsche, and Bayerische Staatsopers, New York's Metropolitan Opera (where the rôle was the vehicle for her Company début), De Nederlandse, Washington National and Dallas Operas, and at the Dresden Festival.  She has portrayed Angelina, the title rôle in La Cenerentola, with twenty-two companies, including the Semperoper, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opera Orchestra of New York (at Carnegie Hall), Washington Concert Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, New Israeli Opera, Japan Opera Foundation, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Among her other bel canto and French grand opéra credentials are the trouser parts of Rossini's Tancredi (title rôle, which she has sung in Vienna and Budapest); Neocle in Rossini's L’assedio di Corinto (Baltimore); Malcolm in Rossini's La donna del lago (Caramoor); Orsini in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia (Caramoor, Minnesota Opera); Falliero in Rossini's Bianca e Falliero (Washington Concert Opera); Pippo in Rossini's La gazza ladra (Caramoor); Arsace in Rossini's Semiramide Minnesota & Caramoor); Romeo in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (Minnesota, Pittsburgh); Hassem in Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata (Seville); Urbain in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots (Bilbao), as well as Edemondo in his Emma di Resburgo (Vienna). In the Baroque and early classical repertoires, her Händel rôles are the most varied and numerous: Galatea in Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Berlin, Salzburg/Whitsun); Il Piacere in Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno(Madrid, Vienna); Bradamante in Alcina (Paris); the title rôle in Ariodante (Dallas, San Diego), as well as Polinesso in the same opera (Paris, London, Madrid, Vienna); the title rôle in Arminio (Solothurn, Siena, Amsterdam); the title rôle in Giulio Cesare (Washington), as well as Sesto in the same opera (San Diego); the dual rôles of Juno and Ino in Semele (Les Talens Lyriques in Paris and London, and at the New York City Opera); and the title rôle in Rinaldo (Montpellier, Innsbruck). She has also worked tirelessly to share her appreciation for the works of Johann Adolf Hasse with audiences, both in her many concerts and on stage as Piramo in Piramo e Tisbe (Salzburg, Montpellier); Marc'Antonio in Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra (Paris, Brussels, Vienna); and Selimo in Solimano (Berlin, Dresden). In the music of Antonio Vivaldi, she has shone in the title rôle of Giustino (Solothurn); as Irene in Bajazet (Vienna, Yokohama, Montpellier, Venice, Krakow, Paris, Madrid, Metz); as Antiope in Ercole sul Termodonte (Krakow, Vienna, Paris); as Gilade in Il Farnace (Ambronay, Lausanne, Strasbourg, Amsterdam); as Vagaus in Juditha triumphans (Krakow); and as Epitide in L'oracolo in Messenia (Caen, Vienna). Additionally, she has made lasting impressions as Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Munich); as San Teologia in Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Santissima Trinità (Palermo, Lyon, Paris); as Nerone in Domenico Scarlatti’s Ottavia restituita al trono (San Sebastián); as Macario in Leonardo Leo’s Sant’Elena al Calvario (Krakow); as Tamasse in Johann Christian Bach's Zanaïda (Paris); as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Los Angeles); and in a pair of Haydn rôles, Costanza in L’isola disabitata (Bamberg) and Ernesto in Il mondo della luna (Vienna).

Among Vivica's many successful concert engagements have been appearances with celebrated period-instrument ensembles including Accademia Bizantina, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Cappella Gabetta, La Cetra, Collegium 1704, Collegium Apollineum, Il Complesso Barocco, Concentus Musicus Wien, Concerto Copenhagen, Concerto Italiano, Concerto Köln, Europa Galante, Freiburger Barockorchester, Kammerorchester moderntimes_1800, Les Paladins, Philharmonia Baroque, Progetto V/Vox, Les Talens Lyriques, Venice Baroque Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy. She has additionally appeared in concert with the backing of hr-Sinfonieorchester, Kammerorchester Basel, Münchner Kammerorchester, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Festival appearances have taken Vivica to Rome, Prague, Ludwigsburg, Halle, Schwetzingen, Saint Denis, Lanaudière, Montpellier, San Remo, Antibes, Ravello, and Caramoor, as well as the BBC Proms. She has performed with the New York Chamber Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the New York Festival of Song. Vivica has given recitals at the Wiener Konzerthaus, London's Barbican Center, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Madrid's Teatro Real, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, and in Carnegie Hall's Zankel and Weill Halls. A recent tour of South America took her to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. She has delighted audiences in her native Alaska with appearances in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. She appeared on French television on Les victoires de la musique and Eve Ruggieri's Musique au cœur 5 étoiles. Vivica is especially proud of her performances on two televised galas in Germany benefiting the German AIDS Foundation.

Vivica's discography and videography continue to grow steadily. In addition to the two previously-mentioned recordings slated for release during the 2013-14 season, recent recordings featuring Vivica include A Tribute to Faustina Bordoni with Cappella Gabetta on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Vivaldi's L'oracolo in Messenia with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi on Virgin Classics. Released by Oehms Classics in 2010, Vivica's performance in Hasse's Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena, led by Michael Hofstetter, was recorded at the 2008 Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiel. Her performance in the Vienna production of Haydn's Il mondo della luna, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, was recorded and released by DVD in 2010 on the Unitel Classica/C Major label. Recorded in 2010 and 2011 by Virgin Classics, Vivaldi's Ercole sul Termodonte combined Vivica's sterling technique and fiery delivery of Vivaldi's music with the singing of stars Rolando Villazón, Diana Damrau, Patrizia Ciofi, Joyce DiDonato, and Philippe Jaroussky. Ercole was honored with the 2011 EchoKlassik Prize for 'Opera Recording of the Year (17th / 18th Century)’, the third time such an honor has been bestowed upon Vivica's collaborations with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi. Also receiving EchoKlassik awards, Vivica's 2009 disc Pyrotechnics - Vivaldi Opera Arias was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for 'Best Classical Vocal Performance,' and the 2005 complete recording of Vivaldi's Bajazet was also GRAMMY®-nominated. Both were Virgin Classics releases. Among her other recordings are the world-première recording of Vivaldi's L'Atenaide with the Orchestra Barocca Modo Antiqua and Maestro Federico Maria Sardelli on Naïve; Händel / Hasse - Arias and Cantatas with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie on Virgin Classics (2006); Scarlatti's La Santissima Trinità with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi (Virgin Classics, 2004); and her first recording on the Virgin Classics label, Bel Canto Arias, a recital of music by Rossini and Donizetti with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Maestro John Nelson (2003). For Harmonia Mundi, Vivica recorded the title rôle in Händel's Rinaldo under the direction of René Jacobs (2003) and Arias for Farinelli (2002), a barnstorming recital also conducted by Maestro Jacobs that garnered a GRAMMY® nomination. Recorded live in 2001 by Virgin Classics, Händel's Arminio, conducted by Alan Curtis, was awarded the 2002 International Händel Prize. Other 'live' recordings featuring Vivica include Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata on the Almaviva label, Rossiniana with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi on the Agorà label, and An Evening of Arias and Songs by Gioacchino Rossini with accompanist Martin Dubé. Fracture, a feature film starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling in which Vivica made a cameo appearance, had its cinematic release in 2007 and is now available on DVD.

In May 2008, Pittsburgh Opera honored Vivica with their Maecenas Award, and in 2007 she garnered the New York City Opera’s Christopher Keene Award.  She is also the recipient of other distinctions, including the Premio 'Opera CD Classics – Città di Mondovì' and the Florentine Opera's Marie Z. Uihlein Artist Prize. She has also been recognized by several other musical organizations, including the Fort Worth, Baltimore, and Palm Beach Operas. In 1997, she won a prestigious ARIA Award and was lauded as the 1999 Artist of the Year by the Dresden Music Festival. Vivica makes her home in Italy and studies with Claudia Pinza, continuing her long-time association with EPCASO (Ezio Pinza Council of American Singers of Opera).

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.