Riccardo Chailly: Eyvazov is as good as Netrebko

Riccardo Chailly: Eyvazov is as good as Netrebko


norman lebrecht

November 29, 2017

The music director of La Scala has spoken out for the co-star of his forthcoming Andrea Chenier, which opens the season on December 7.

Asked by Corriere della Sera about the vocal qualities of Yusif Eyvazov, husband of the soprano Anne Netrebko, Chailly said:

La sua è una voce importante. Chénier non richiede toni stentorei ma modulati, su questo abbiamo fatto un grande lavoro insieme. Ascoltarlo con Anna nel duetto del quarto atto dà profonda emozione

(His is an important voice. Chenier does not require a stentorian tone but a modulated one, so we are doing great work together. Listening to him with Anna in the fourth act duet is a profoundly emotional experience.)

Chailly also asked first-nighters not to applaud after big arias.

We’ll keep you posted on that one.


photo: La Scala


  • herrera says:


    Hmmm… is that a compliment for Eyvazov or an insult for Netrebko? ; )

    2) “Chailly also asked first-nighters not to applaud after big arias.”

    Hmmm… but booing is encouraged? ; )

    Kidding aside, they are both fine singers, put aside the hype, they *are* important voices in today’s operating scene, not to be dismissed just because of their outsized public persona and marketing hyperbole

    • AndyB says:

      I do so agree with you . I would add that marketing hyperbole will only get a singer so far, but if a singer cannot deliver vocally opera house managements will soon withdraw their support, no matter who the singer is married to.
      I think there is also a clear line to be drawn for certain members of the public between not liking a particular voice which is absolutely fine and making statements / comments of a personal nature about singers they may never have met. These comments, based on suppositions and ‘news’ stories which usually represent a journalistic slant/ opinion , don’t bring us anything new or make good reading.
      It is good however that Maestro Chailly is pleased with his leading singers in this production.

  • Radames says:

    The quote by Chailly doesn’t make any comparison between the two.

    As for not applauding, I think emotions in the theatre should not be restrained. I remember the “prima” from 1986 where we got an encore out of Muti, that was fun and memorable!

    • Olassus says:

      No, indeed.

      su questo abbiamo fatto un grande lavoro insieme

      … on this (production of modulated tones) we have done much work together.

  • fred says:

    hmmm, would have been there any applause??????
    Chailly is ridiculous also in his assesment of the title role, but then after all he recorded it with Pavarotti a lyric tenor who had nothing to do with the part of Chenier.

    There were only two really great post war Cheniers :Del Monaco and Corelli even Bergonzi was defeated by the tessitura and heavy orchestration at moments and so was Carreras.
    Labo was decent and so was Domingo in his prime but giants they weren’t……

    • Olassus says:

      … Giordano’s incompetence, actually.

      [leaves for a performance with a German Chénier and a Greek-German Maddalena, neither of whom Fred would sanction.]

  • Ungeheuer says:

    What Chailly didn’t say is that, regardless of one’s opinion on vocal quality, the husband is singing better than the wife and sounds like a natural, unforced tenor. The wife, however, has forced her lyric instrument into unrecognition by visiting dramatic territory. The result is a wobble one can at times fly a sizable aircraft through. Worse, her intonation problems have become increasingly pronounced so that seasickness inducement is as good a metaphor as any. But creating depth of art and unique identification with roles, she never got there. It is all now, and was always, about jumping from role to role unthinkingly, like a factory robot.

    • Olassus says:

      Nobody buys your incessant Anna-bashing.

      • Ungeheuer says:

        No worries. It ain’t for sale.

      • Novagerio says:

        Anna-bashing?…Aren’t we all part of the audience? Aren’t there (Thank Divine Mercy!) only a very few of us who belong to La Claque?!…
        Just what the Devil is Netrebko doing in the Hardcore Verismo Repertoire?…And now, so soon after her first (and rather failed) attempt on Aida?…
        Is she Callas or Tebaldi or Antonietta Stella or Anna Tomowa-Sintow or Ghena Dimitrova?…
        Have you ever heard those ladies breath between the words and sing as if they had a teleprompter in front of them?…I mean, who are we actually kidding?

        And what ever happened to the former uruguayan mister Netrebko?….This Eyvazov is out of the mediatic hype as soon as she’s found yet another husband…

        • Olassus says:

          Your point is unclear.

        • Ungeheuer says:

          Speaking of teleprompter, her overhyped and overrated Elsas in Lohengrin, in Dresden, were in fact teleprompted. This because she can neither speak nor understand the German language and could not memorize her lines. The conductor, Christian Thielemann, was the one who insisted on this scheme so the show could go on. It was a sham.

  • Novagerio says:

    Well sure! But then he can eat his own shoe, when the Loggione erupts and outlashes its notorious wrath….

  • Peter Owen says:

    It’s 35 years ago today that I endured a performance of Chenier and I imagine it’s what being embalmed whilst still alive feels like. I might give it another go. In 35 years.

  • Dan Oria says:

    I think Maestro Chailly suffers from a hearing problem…

    • Leo says:

      I doubt it, that’s called “diplomacy” – in this business one has to keep the right people happy to maintain ones place. This case is just a very grotesque example.