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Retreating Villazon is named Salzburg artistic director

June 26, 2017 by norman lebrecht

8 comments.


The Mexican tenor, now singing less and less, has been named artistic director of the Salzburg Mozart Week.

He starts work on July 1, 2017 and ‘combines his international activities as the Mozarteum’s Mozart Ambassador with the planning and realization of the Mozart Week in an ideal fashion’.

The first Mozart Week entirely programmed by Villazón takes place in 2019. He has a six-year contract.


Comments (8)

  1. Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

    Villazon is a nice guy. I enjoyed watching the tourism TV program “One night in Berlin” featuring him and Hélène Grimaud. It was very entertaining, with many insider tips.

    Another episode with Christian Thielemann and Christoph Schlingensief was also very good.

    1. Ungeheuer says:

      Yes but how is the singing?

      1. Analeck [email protected] says:

        Firstly, I know too little about opera and Ge­sangs­kunst to give any sensible judgments about his singing.

        Secondly, I could really know nothing about his singing because his core repertoire seems to have absolutely no overlap with the one I am interested in. So far as I know, he doesn’t seem to be overly active in HIP barock scene nor German late romantic. 20th century stuffs, like Messiaen, Ligeti, Nono and Dallapiccola, are probably not his cup of tea neither.

        The only time I could get a glimpse about his singing was in the above-mentioned TV travel program, where he improvised a piece from Dichterliebe by Schumann in an empty Zirkusbau. I would describe his presentation of this particular Liedchen, which apparently does not belong to his tried and proven repertoire, as quite interesting and idiosyncratic. It was undoubtedly the most entertaining and theatrical “Ich grolle nicht” I have ever heard.

        But once again, it demonstrates clearly that even if Mr. Villazon is not singing, thanks to his unique charisma and cross-disciplinary reputation, he can continue to create great value to the music industry in his own way.

      2. Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

        Sorry, but I know nothing about his singing.

  2. David Freedman says:

    It will be lovely if he recognises that his vocal problems mean that he is much diminished as a singer but he is findings ways to stay in the business and make positive contributions.

  3. Martain Smith says:

    Good to see they’re chosen a true Mozart connoisseur for the job!

    1. Petros Linardos says:

      Spot on.

  4. Douglas Nasrawi says:

    Perhaps he’ll take better care of others’ voices and talent then he did his own


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