Vivica Genaux (pronounced: [vi.vi.ka ʒe.no]; born in Fairbanks, Alaska) is an American coloratura mezzo-soprano. Her father, an American of Belgian-Welsh descent, was a biochemistry professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her mother, Mexican-born of Swiss-German extraction, was a language teacher. She has sung in major operas such as The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera, L'italiana in Algeri at Opéra National de Paris, and La Cenerentola with Dallas Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Education and singing career
Ms. Genaux began her vocal studies as a young girl with late American dramatic soprano Dorothy Dow. Ms. Genaux then studied with the late Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Virginia Zeani at Indiana University Bloomington and currently studies with Claudia Pinza (daughter of bass Ezio Pinza). She began her professional career specializing in charming portrayals of Rossini comic heroines (Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, Angelina in La Cenerentola). She has performed these roles more than two hundred times with many of the major U.S. opera companies (including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota Operas), as well as in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dresden, Munich, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Verona, Santiago and Perth.
Her role as the hero in Handel's "Arminio" was her first baroque role, and she continues to expand her repertoire, which currently includes 28 roles, 20 of which are pants roles (a woman—often a mezzo-soprano—playing a male character).
Prior career highlights have included: Brussels (La Monnaie) and Paris (Champs-Elysées) for Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra, led by long-time mentor, conductor René Jacobs; the recently rediscovered Alessandro Scarlatti oratorio La Santissima Trinità in Paris, Palermo and Lyon, which marked her first collaboration with Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante; Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at the Los Angeles Opera; a Weill Hall recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall; Rosinas at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera; the Opéra National de Paris (Barbiere and Alcina); a concert at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin with René Jacobs and the Akademie für Alte Musik performing music from their “Arias for Farinelli” CD; Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Paris and Hong Kong with Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France; Rinaldo in Montpellier and Innsbruck; Minnesota Opera for Lucrezia Borgia, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi and Semiramide; Urbain in Les Huguenots for the opening of the new opera house in Bilbao; Hassem in Donizetti’s Alahor in Granata in Seville; Selimo in Hasse’s Solimano at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Juno/Ino in Handel's Semele at New York City Opera; and seven appearances at the Caramoor Festival.
Ms. Genaux's discography:
L'Atenaide (Teodosio) – Vivaldi
with Modo Antiquo & Federico Sardelli, conductor
NAÏVE OP30438 3 CD
U.S. Release 22 August 2007
Handel & Hasse Arias & Cantatas (solo)
with Les Violins du Roy, Bernard Labadie, Conductor
VIRGIN CLASSICS (1 CD) 7243 5 45737 2 9
U.S. Release September 2006
Bajazet (Irene) – Vivaldi
with Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi, Conductor
VIRGIN VERITAS 45676-2
U.S. Release May 2005
La Santissima Trinità (Teologia) – Scarlatti
with Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi, Conductor
VIRGIN VERITAS 5456662 (1 CD)
Released May 2004
Bel Canto Arias (solo) – Donizetti/Rossini
with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson, Conductor
VIRGIN CLASSICS 7243 5 45615 2 8
Released September 2003
Rinaldo (Title Role) – Handel
René Jacobs, Conductor
HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901796.98
Released May 2003
Arias for Farinelli (solo) – Various Artists
with Akademie für Alte Musik, René Jacobs, Conductor
HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901778
Arminio (Title Role) – Handel
with Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis, Conductor
VIRGIN Veritas 5 45461 2
Released August 2001
An Evening of Arias and Songs(solo) – Various Artists
EPCASO 93515 04012
Released June 1999
She was born in 1969.
- http://berkshirereview.net/music/genaux_vbo_carnegie.html Recital
- "Recital at the Weill Recital Hall, Jan 14, 2009". Berkshire Review. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "OPERA REVIEW; The Met, Sold Out for One Debut, Hears Another, December 19, 1997". New York Times.
- Official website
- Fanfare Webzine The Original Vivica Genaux site
- "How a girl from Alaska became an opera singer" by Vivica Genaux, Clasica y Opera
- "Honest Work: Maria Nockin talks to American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux about her life and career"
- Extensive interview with Vivica Genaux on Opera Lively