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«Primo Uomo»


There is no room for patriarchy in modern opera. While the prima donnas are still commanding the scene, the term "primo uomo" seems to have lost all its former vitality

But there was a time when the world of opera revolved around primo uomo Farinelli, Senesino, Nicolini. The dreadfully artificial phenomenon of castrato finally passed away in an appalling manner. The 19th century was a prime for tenors, the highest-pitched natural male voices, later significantly diversifying the repertoire in parts for baritones and basses.

Unlike prima donnas, whose main parts are written for sopranos, in contrast, male vocals today are highly diverse in modern opera. The Russian Society of Friends of the Salzburg Festival has selected several contemporary productions for MoscowWithYou featuring top male opera singers of the world: Jonas Kaufmann, Javier Camarena, Philippe Jaroussky, Piotr Beczała, Ildar Abdrazakov, and others.

Cavalleria Rusticana with Pagliacci

The classical opera double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana with Pagliacci in an unexpectedly ambitious production by Philipp Stölzl for the Salzburg Easter Festival (2015). Both productions feature Jonas Kaufmann, the most prominent tenor of the 21st century.

Don Giovanni

The ferocious Don Giovanni at Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2017. Featuring the baritone of Philippe Sly as the main character and an incredible supporting cast (Eleonora Buratto, Isabel Leonard, Julie Fuchs).

The flagship production of Artaxerxes by Opéra national de Lorraine which resurrected interest in the forgotten works of composer Leonardo Vinci. According to the original version of Vinci in 1730, all the parts, both male and female, with the exception of Artabanus (tenor), were sung by the leading world's countertenors: Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cenčić, Franco Fagioli, Yuriy Minenko.


Separately, both names of Piotr Beczała (tenor) and Ildar Abdrazakov (bass) guarantee a sell-out. Salzburg is one of the few venues that could bring these outstanding singers to the same stage. Here is a video of the first night of Gounod's Faust at the festival in 2016.


Zurich's Rossini's Otello became a constellation of the brilliant tenor singers. John Osborn in the hapless blackface, Eduardo Rocha, Javier Camarena, as well as the great Cecilia Bartoli, also known as La Gioiosa, as Desdemona.

La Fille du Régiment

Speaking of Javier Camarena, the Mexican tenor singer seems to hold the record for the number of encores halfway through performances at the Metropolitan Opera. During last year's Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment performance, the audience broke into an ecstatic ovation. The singer and the conductor made a decision to replay the aria "Ah! Mes amis ... Pour mon ame" with its 8 high C's once again.

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The Russian Society of Friends of the Salzburg Festival is a national community of philanthropists established in 2013 by the president of the Festival to support Russian performers
The Aksenov Family Foundation is a platform that initiates and supports projects aimed at developing culture and intellectual innovations. The Foundation explores the contents and boundaries of the cultural sector and the development of means of assessing the social significance of contemporary culture and art.

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