Tuesday, June 5, 2012

John Malveaux: Soprano Michelle Johnson and Tenor Noah Stewart Cast in 'AIDA'

John Malveaux of www.MusicUNTOLD.com sends a link to an interview with soprano Michelle Johnson in Opera News:

Girls of Summer

tells BRIAN KELLOW about her upcoming debut as Aida at the Glimmerglass Festival.

Michelle Johnson's impressive lirico-spinto voice is most familiar to those operagoers who frequent the competition circuit: in 2011 alone, Johnson was a top prize-winner in the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. But she's about to step out in a highly exposed way. This July and August, she takes on the title role of Aida in a new production at the Glimmerglass Festival, staged by Glimmerglass’s artistic and general director, Francesca Zambello.

At Glimmerglass, Johnson will become the latest in a long line of gifted African–American sopranos to sing Verdi's Ethiopian princess. Clearly, Zambello doesn't want this to be just another generic Aida: an African–American tenor, Noah Stewart, has been cast as Radamès, and on the podium is someone who should be well equipped to capture Verdi's "Egyptian" sound — Nader Abbassi, artistic director and principal conductor of Cairo Opera. 

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