The French CollectionDeutsche Grammophon
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The kind of singing found in French operas written during the 18th century was based on a great theatrical tradition, namely, the tragedies of Corneille, Racine and Voltaire, with their declamatory type of verse-speaking. This meant that for French singers clarity of diction was more important than the quality of their tone, a quality that was to be one of the prerequisites of the bel canto school of singing of the later period. All of this changed with the founding of the Théâtre Italien in 1801. When Rossini took over the running of this last-named company in 1824, he found many good French singers. He was followed to Paris – then the center of the operatic universe – by Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi. Their works were performed – and in some cases premiered – by outstanding French singers. It is with excerpts from the principal works of this tradition that the Polish tenor Piotr Beczala faces up to a challenge that is testing from both a technical and an interpretative point of view, demanding, as it does, a particular understanding of the French vocal idiom.
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Piotr Beczala breezes through sold-out recital at Balboa Theatre / The San Diego Union-Tribune
Opera stars often describe recitals as a high-wire act. With no costumes, scenery or other singers to distract the listener, a singer's voice - warts and all - is laid naked before an audience. If that's the case, Piotr Beczala has nothing to hide. During a two-hour recital Saturday at Balboa Theatre, the dapper tenor breezed confidently through a diverse and demanding program of arias, art and folk song...
Piotr Beczala sings Zankel Hall / New York Times review
The Polish tenor Piotr Beczala has developed an ardent fan base in recent years. That much was evident from the adoring capacity crowd that turned out for his recital debut at Zankel Hall on Friday with the pianist Martin Katz. The program of songs by Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak and the fin-de-siècle Polish composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz beautifully showcased his rich, virile voice, with its app...
Piotr Beczala - The French Collection / WETA: Vocal CD Pick of the Week
VivaLaVoce showcases notable new (or newly reissued) CDs each week. Hear selections from the CD on-air throughout the week, and check online to learn more about the artist and the music. Our friends at ArkivMusic join in by putting that recording on sale for the entire week and contributing a portion of each sale to WETA. Our 'Vocal Pick of the Week for June 29, 2015 is The French Collection wit...
Piotr Beczala - The French Collection / Opera News review
Piotr Beczala is the third prominent tenor to release a French aria disc in less than a year, after Juan Diego Flórez and Vittorio Grigolo. While several selections are performed on two of these recordings, only one aria appears on all three - "Pourquoi me réveiller," from Massenet's Werther. The three tenors' different approaches to this brief, ambitious excerpt are revealing. Fl...
Piotr Beczala - The French Collection / Buffalo News review
Piotr Beczala, "The French Collection," Opera arias by Bizet, Berlioz, Massenet, Gounod and Verdi, (Deutsche Grammophon). Polish tenor Piotr Beczala, at 48, is at the top of his game. Starting with his debut at Covent Garden in 2004, singing the flowery "Italian Tenor Aria" in "Der Rosenkavalier," he has gloried in what the tenor voice can do. That joy shines in this collection, which has him singing ari...
Piotr Beczala to sing with Czech National Symphony@Royal Opera House - Muscat / Times Of Oman
Polish tenor Piotr Beczala is sure to delight the audience at the Royal Opera House Muscat on Thursday with his concert of arias, accompanied by the renowned Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The concert, which will be conducted by Russian maestro Guerassim Voronkov, will feature a selection of arias from romantic and comedic 19th century Italian, Czech, French and German operas and operettas, revea...
Piotr Beczala - The French Collection is WFMT: New Release of the Week
Piotr Beczała has recorded a collection of favorite operatic arias that lie at the core of his repertoire, all connected to France or Paris. He prepared for the task by listening to old recordings and becoming familiar with how earlier singers approached the roles. This recital of French repertoire includes music by Massenet, Berlioz, Verdi, Boieldieu, Donizetti, Gounod and Bizet. Beczała is jo...