Released in celebration of Verdi’s anniversary year, acclaimed Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov stars in the title role, in the premiere of Arturo Gama’s production. He is ably supported by soprano, Anna Markarova in the role Odabella; baritone, Vladislav Sulimsky in the role of Ezio and tenor, Sergei Skorokhodov as Foresto. The single disc DVD & Blu-ray release was filmed in the historic Mariinsky Opera House.
As is the case with many of Verdi’s operas, his ninth opera Attila is imbued with the spirit of Risorgimento, the national liberation movement of the Italian people against foreign rule and for the unification of trampled Italy. The plot, which tells of the struggle of Aquileia, one of the last remaining strongholds of once eternal Rome, against the barbarian hordes of Attila, King of the Huns, received an enthusiastic reception from the audience present at the premiere at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, and yet is rarely performed in today’s opera houses. Since the premiere in 2010, the Mariinsky has revived the Gama’s production each season, most recently in January 2013.
A two-time Grammy Award winner for his Verdi readings, Ildar Abdrazakov has quickly established himself as one of opera’s most sought-after basses. Since making his La Scala debut in 2001 at only 25, the Russian singer has become a mainstay at leading houses worldwide. His powerful, yet refined voice coupled with his compelling stage presence have prompted critics to describe him as a “sensational bass ... who has just about everything – imposing sound, beautiful legato, oodles of finesse” (The Independent).