Un ballo in maschera, by Giuseppe Verdi, was the opera that opened the 2017/2018 season of the Association Friends of the Opera of A Coruña. The performances took place on September 1st and 3rd at the Galician city’s Teatro Colón. The vocal cast was headed by the American tenor Gregory Kunde, in the role of Riccardo.
The audience applauded his performance with enthusiasm and critics praised his work highly:
- “We are not going to discover Gregory Kunde at this point in the story. Without a doubt the greatest and most complete tenor of the 21st century so far. Only his excellent technique allows him to maintain such a demanding schedule and the difficult roles he undertakes. He made a magnificent Riccardo who grew, vocally, as the performance progressed. His voice was well placed and delivered, with perfectly rounded high notes. He gave an outstanding interpretation of “Ma se m’è forza perderti …” and the opera’s gorgeous duet “Non sai tu che se l´anima …” in Act II (…).” Daniel Diz (Opera World)
- “The American tenor did away with any doubt that may have lingered about the state of his voice, with a fresh and lusty timbre, brilliant at the high end, eluding the elasticity difficulties that Riccardo’s role has at the beginning of the opera and showing great strength from “Teco io sto” forward, when the most heroic facet of the character fits perfectly with the singer’s current style. Kunde knows the role, which makes it that much easier to accentuate and speak with intention. Impeccable”. José Luis Jiménez (Ópera Actual)
- “Especially noteworthy was Gregory Kunde’s vocal protagonism, both in his arias and in the duets and concertatos so abundant in the work.” Julian Carrillo (El País)
- “We expected great things from the renowned tenor Gregory Kunde, whom the role of Riccardo fits like a glove. At the height of his faculties, just as predicted, the American singer was perfect in his acting and impressive in his singing, raising the temperature of the performance with his interaction with the rest of the cast.” Teresa Adrán (Platea Magazine)
- “Kunde gave a special shine to the opera season’s kick-off event. Gregory Kunde, Riccardo, displayed a brilliant voice, almost always beautiful, squillantein the high notes, as early as his first fragment, La rivedra nell’ estasi, although I would perhaps ask him for more refined legato; effusive, even moving, in the duet of the second act, the high point of the work, and in the renunciation number, Ma se m’è forza perderti, and always exact in the dialogues and recitatives.” Antón de Santiago (La Voz de Galicia)
- “To see in the final curtain call that Gregory Kunde was truly touched –he admitted as much to us after the event– when he saw that the organisational and artistic effort had obtained such a warm response from the audience is indicative of his deep commitment to the organisation. Little can be said of Gregory Kunde that has not already been said a thousand times. We are before an extraordinary tenor, an imposing voice even with the fatigue that comes with age. Kunde was better in the second and third acts, in which he brilliantly displayed a medium-high register that was full of character, technical know-how and interpretive capacity.” Aurelio M. Seco (Codalario)