By Etsuo Kono / Japan News Staff WriterConsidered one of the greatest operatic sopranos on the stage today, Anna Netrebko is always seeking something new. The passionate Russian diva enthralled fans in Tokyo this week as she and her tenor husband kicked off a series of three concerts in Japan.
During Thursday’s concert at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, Netrebko and her husband, Yusif Eyvazov, sang masterpieces such as Verdi’s “Il trovatore” together, drawing enthusiastic applause from the audience. This is the second year in a row the couple have visited Japan, after giving her first series of concerts here in 11 years in 2016.
Their latest visit is part of a monthlong international tour to Tokyo and seven other cities, including the couple’s first concert in China.
Thursday’s program mainly featured Italian opera, including works by Verdi and Puccini.
“This Japan program was created after deep deliberation,” Netrebko said during an interview with The Japan News ahead of the concert. “It is really interesting. If you come to the concert, we can promise to satisfy you absolutely.”
Born in 1971, Netrebko has performed many of opera’s leading roles at famous houses including the Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna State Opera. In May last year, the superstar made her Wagnerian debut in Dresden, Germany, singing Elsa from “Lohengrin.”
“As an artist, I always want to do something new — to expand something new,” Netrebko said. “That’s why I am adding new roles to my repertoire and not repeating the roles I play all the time.” She added that she made a “very right” decision about seven years ago when she changed her repertoire to include more dramatic roles.
Asked how she prepares, Netrebko said it is “no different to any time in my career.”
“I should seek resources for the roles within myself,” the diva said. She also said thorough efforts lead to excellent results, such as reading the scores to try and figure out the composer’s intentions and singing in line with the directions given by the director.
Netrebko said she is now in the golden years of her career. “We can do many things, now is the time,” she added.
Netrebko and Eyvazov married in December 2015. This September they released “Romanza,” an album of love duets. “He makes me happy, and maybe thanks to this, I am singing better,” Netrebko said.
Her husband said: “Happiness and singing are the same. If you are not happy, you are not singing.”
Netrebko releases parts of her concerts and rehearsals around the world through social media. She recently posted some private photos of her family’s visit to Asakusa, Tokyo, ahead of Thursday’s concert. The diva described social media as “the most reliable source” for her fans, as she values her interactions with them highly.
“Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov in Concert Japan 2017” will also be held at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Oct. 3 and The Symphony Hall in Osaka on Oct. 12. Visit www.kajimotomusic.com/jp/artists/k=256/ for more information.Speech