Khaleej Times Online, 23. März 2009
Silvia Radan
Capital’s Classical Music Festival Strikes a Chord
ABU DHABI - A triumph! Soprano Angela Gheorghiu, tenor Jonas Kaufmann and the Bolshoi Orchestra conducted by maestro Ion Marin, who opened the sixth Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival on Saturday night raised the bar of classical music to heights never heard before in the UAE capital.

From Italian passion to French sophistication and even Russian elegance, all-time favourites and highly difficult opera arias were sung from the heart, as beautiful as they were intended. “These are only some pieces of mine and I hoped that I could sing an entire opera,” said Angela Gheorghiu. Still, the pieces she gave did not fell short of a superstar performance.

They were pieces of unfulfilled or blooming love that required unthinkable undulations and strength of the voice, pieces from some of the best loved operas - Verdi’s Nabucco and Traviata, Puccini’s La Boheme and Madame Butterfly, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin or Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite.

Even in the Emirates Palace auditorium, with acoustics not designed for classical concerts or opera, both Gheorghiu and Kaufmann sang without microphones and filled up the hall effortlessly.

The two opera singers were perfectly accompanied by the wonderful Bolshoi Orchestra, one of the world’s greatest, who, led by the wand of maestro Marin, truly created magic.

The concert brought the audience repeatedly to its feet, with the standing ovations going on and on for encores.

 back top