Netrebko’s husband earns Vienna Opera debut

Netrebko’s husband earns Vienna Opera debut


norman lebrecht

April 01, 2016

We’ve just heard that Yusif Eyvazov will be stepping in for Johan Botha in this month’s new Vienna production of Puccini’s Turandot, opening April 28.

It’s a new staging by Marco Arturo Marelli, with Lise Lindstrom in the title role, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Toi-toi, Yusif.

eyvazov netrebko2


  • Olassus says:

    His Calaf at the Metropolitan Opera in November was well received.

  • Musician says:

    He married well.

  • vonessek says:

    On April Fools’ Day, I believe nothing 🙂

  • Eddie Mars says:

    I have never found Botha very credible. His passable vocal ability is hardly a fair exchange for his blubbery bulk and wooden acting. He girth has become such a restriction on his ability to move normally. Instead of being credible as a young lover, he’s actually laughable. It’s probably only in theatres like the Met – who place little importance on staging – where he can get work – and of course, in a country like the USA, where grotesque obesity is still considered to be socially acceptable.

    Eyvazov is certainly a burly guy – but he’s in shape, without a gut that wobbles above his trousers. Vocally I find him greatly superior to Botha, and he sings extremely musically.

    I wish him success.

    • Josef Schmee says:

      True! Botha was born in Johannesburg, USA not South Africa. He is an American citizen, not Austrian. And he sings mostly in the US, not in Europe. That is why he is so voluminous. His voice is really small enough to sing in most venues and punch holes in the walls, like a zillion other lyric tenors, and without seeming effort. That is why Mr Thielemann was all to happy to have Jose Cura as a much more qualified substitute in Salzburg.

      • Marshall says:

        Nasty mean spirited comments about a singer who, is yes, large, but a conscientious artist and fine singer. I found the “sweating hippo etc” remark saying more about he person writing it-coarse, tasteless, unnecessary. (in addition to his nonsensical comments about stagings in the US, and obesity) Botha though large can move quite well-the way the young Pavarotti could, and like Pav, Botha has an expressive face, so can be effective on HDs. I would not go out of my way to see him as Calaf, however in Wagner, Otello and other roles he delivers some real quality singing

        Too bad the fellow who passes such extreme judgements on body types didn’t hear Botha’s stellar Tannhaeuser this fall at the Met. It was as good a live performance of that difficult role I have ever heard-and I say live because others of quality I have heard, usually run out of gas for the third act-as opposed to what they sound like on recordings. Not so with Botha, his Inbrunst im Herzen, not only had plenty of voice, but was deeply moving.

        The year before his Walter was equally full of fine singing and tireless. Sure, he doesn’t look like a young, dashing aristocrat, but the same could be said of Melchior in all his roles, and others with the voice to sing these parts. Ironically the tenor who should be singing Walter, and other Wagner,and who has the physique du role, keeps playing at being a spinto Italian tenor, instead of singing what his voice is really appropriate for. No I give Botha all the credit for mastering and singing beautifully, these long, taxing, complex roles-that very few ever negotiated successfully

    • Heath says:

      You see, Eddie, some of us here who frequent the great opera houses of America are more concerned with inner beauty rather than externals. I’m sorry that you can’t relate to that. And as for stagings, we still find the beauty of the music complelling enough so that we don’t have to resort to Eurotrash productions.

      • Eddie Mars says:

        Thank you, Heath. I will keep my Eurotrash over the sight of a profusely sweating hippo in a knightly costume every single time 😉

        With love from Europe, where classical music comes from.

    • anne munkholm says:

      How sad to read that people are judged by their appearance, here: Obesity, rather than their artistic talent.
      It is bullying in its worst form, and I cannot help thinking, how I would feel, if I were judged by my exterior.
      How I long for the day, when people are valued after their inner qualities and not, as here, their weight.

    • Dan says:

      Eyvazov’s Russian accent is so strong when he sings! Listen to his Italian awful pronunciation…

  • Wolfgang Eder says:

    When I watch italian opera in Vienna, I prefer italian singers. It was always great adventure and good atmosphere. Same with Wagner: i like german or austrian singers with great voices. I don’t like to watch fat singers doing roles of young lovers. Basta!

  • DESR says:

    I saw and heard Botha in Bayreuth: very conflicted. If you closed your eyes…

  • Tyrone Shoelace says:

    Evidently, Botha the singers have their advantages.

  • Anneline Conradie says:

    Josef, Johannesburg is in South Africa and Johan Botha is a South African.