Bravo Cura

Celebrating José Cura--Singer, Conductor, Director

 

 

Reviews


 

José Cura Press Acclaim

(Excerpts of international press circa 2002)

 

“José Cura: a new Otello is born”

 Leonardo Pinzauti, La Nazione, June 1997

 

“An exceptional voice with a captivating acting ability”

 Antonia Couling, Opera Now, October 1997

 

 

“The Argentine tenor gives to Samson all the strength of his magnetic presence, all the energy of a vocal emission of an unseen arrogance. Cura confirms himself to be the only possibly imaginable performer for Samson, since Jon Vickers retirement.”

Sergio Segalini, Opera International, 1997

 

 

“The beauty, the power and that special baritone quality of his timber make of Cura the most important voice of nowadays.”

Mario Hamlet- Metz, L´Opera, February 1999

 

 

“Otello is a vehicle that requires a big star to carry it off. José Cura is that kind of star.”

T.L. Ponick, The Washington Times, March 2000

 

 

“The epitome of the sacred monster at the moment is surely the Argentine tenor José Cura…”

Mathew Gurewitsch, New York Times, May, 2000

 

 

“His voice is thrilling, his colour and interpretation at times spine tingling.”

Ian Fox, Sunday Times (Ireland), October 2000

 

 

“We believe José Cura´s interpretation of Manrico almost impossible to be surpassed.”

Giorgio Banti, L´Opera, January 2001

 

 

“Cura seduced us with and inspired and human Samson.”

  La Razón, March 2001

 

 

“… None of these criticisms can alter the fact that Cura is the Otello of today and tomorrow...”

Andrew Clark, Opera, July 2001  

 

“There is no other tenor on the world, nowadays, who can render the ill, neurotic jealousy of Otello with such an introspective analysis.”

Alexandro Mormile, L´Opera, July-August 2001

 

“Cura confirms himself as one of the most complete artists of the opera circuit.”

Dejan Bozovic, Il Gazzettino, August 2001

 

 

“His formidable technique makes us forget the extreme difficulties of the role (Otello).”

 Tristan Cerf, Le Temps, September 2001

 

 

“In exceptional vocal shape, the Argentine Tenor imposes himself as a reference in this role (Otello).”

Humberto Fornaster, Opera International, August 2001

 

 

“Unconventional Cura infuses opera with new life.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun, January 2002

 

 

“… Cura proves with this choice of his (about Boleros), that cheapness is not the only way to touch the other public. A great recording by a singer at the peak of his career.”

TO VIMA newspaper Sunday Edition (Greece), March 2002

 

 

“The star of the evening was, doubtless, Cura’s moving interpretation of the powerful Second Symphony by Rachmaninov.”

Jens Runnberg, Falu-Kuriren (Sweden), July 2002 

 

 

“His work as a conductor was brilliant, he had the orchestra eating out of his hand (…) Rachmaninov´s Second Symphony made up the second part of the concert. It was a joy to see José Cura conducting this piece…”

Boel Ferm, DD (Sweden), July 2002

 

 

"As the music filled the night sky, accompanied by the light evening breeze, Cura demonstrated that his world - - for many an impenetrable universe - - is as accessible as any other form of musical expression, provided it comes straight from the soul."

Elis Kiss, Kathimerini, 26 July 2002     

                                                                     

 

“… Cura keeps just the right balance – he’s a compelling pop singer without a trace of the divo.”

Brian Kellow, Opera News, 2002

 

 

“... José Cura was a straightforward Moor, communicating true feelings, stifling, and vocally first-rate as I had never heard him before. He didn't save himself, sang with even voice throughout the evening, and knew how to use ringing top notes to wonderful effect for the climaxes. ... If only the Argentinean were always so concentrated and serious in his work, there wouldn't be as many discussions about him. ..."  

Gerhard Ottinger, Der Neue Merker, Aug / Sep 2002

 

"The thing with Cura is he's quit able to acquit himself with serious opera aficionados. I don't feel with him that the marketing is outstripping his abilities, which you do get with a lot of musicians.... With José Cura you've got a genuine talent who combines compelling acting skills, a wonderful voice and [who] just happens to be highly marketable."

Neil Evans, editor of Classic CD, from Interview in Independent, Sept 1999

 

 

"Brutally questioned, bleeding, languishing in jail, dragged to the shooting-ground, "Beau" Cura rendered his role with the utmost refinement, both vocally and in his acting, thus reaping a most deserved acclaim -- to say nothing of the repeated "bravos" at such climactic moments as "E lucean le stelle," with its sobbing finale.....the most enjoyable Tosca to be heard or seen during the last decade."  

Carlo Vitali, Classics Today, June 2002  

 

 

"The Argentinean bel canto José Cura is the new star on the tenor horizon.  This voice of the century takes a top C in its stride, yet retains a formidable power throughout the range and above all bewitches the audience with its unbelievably warm tone."  

Profil, 6 Nov 1997    

 

 

"This was the best performance I have yet seen from Cura, with wonderfully spontaneous reactions, showing quite a talent for comedy in Act I . . ..  Vocally, Cura injected desperate passion in the voice, almost bursting with a sexual sob, as he sang 'Carmen', when he gives into his passion.  The Flower Song was performed as a sweet and impassioned plea, with lyricism and sensitivity of phrasing."

Antonia Couling, Opera Now, Nov / Dec 2000  

 

 

"This stalwart Argentinean tenor, with an impeccable accent, with a dark, suave vocal timber, who also possesses a musical discipline without a doubt rare among his colleagues, was at last a 'real Otello':  he recalls with intelligence the best of earlier singers (Del Monaco came to mind many times), but with a communicative ability and personality that tranquilly enable one to predict with ease a long and great career for him."

La Nazione, Italy 10 May 1997  

 

 

"Cura's Manrico was an outstanding achievement, technically unimpeachable (he crowned 'Di quella pira' with a couple of formidable top Cs) and often elegant. Taking all four phrases of 'Riposa, o madre' in the final scene in one breath not once but twice is going beyond the call of tenorial duty. Such diligence helped him create a character of alternate bravado and lassitude, a romantic hero doomed from the start to failure and ignominious death."

 George Hall, Opera News Online, August 2002  

 

 

"His Esultate is so powerful that critics have sometimes accused him of “eccentricity”. But when Cura’s Otello, lying on his back, woos Desdemona in Già nella notte densa – Venere splende, it is not only women in the audience who are fascinated and excited in view of so much athleticism combined with a noble, mostly nobly used natural voice…"  

Eckhard Henscheid, NZZ, 7 July 2002

 

 

“…and José Cura, as the passionately jealous Canio who ultimately runs amok, also offered a gripping portrait, whose believable intensity the audience couldn't escape.”

Weiner Zeitung, 25 Jan 2002

 

“In the role of Canio, Cura put emphasis not on superficial brilliance but on a subtle and sophisticate interpretation of the title role, and in that he offered an exemplary model of vocal and dramatic excellence.”

 Die Presse, 25 Jan 2002

 

 

 

Andrea Chénier, London February 1998:  “The Argentinian José Cura is indeed the "fourth tenor", as his previous appearances with the company—Corsaro, Samson et Dalila –have already indicated. Tirelessly robust tone, heroic delivery, even plangent lyricism in the 30-odd seconds where it is required-all are on tap. He also has one or two traditional, rather endearing tenorial mannerisms, like tying one phrase to the next to show off his breath control, and approaching top notes via a springboard about a third down, then hitting the target with ejaculatory triumph. The audience went wild.”  The Times, February 1998

Andrea Chénier, London March 1998:  “His voice rings out powerfully, but he has the ability and taste to curb the volume when restraint is called for, as in ‘Come un bel di’. He is the real thing.” Telegraph, 1998

Andrea Chénier, London March 1998:  “The Royal Opera’s concert performance of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier was notable primarily for José Cura’s big-boned singing of the title role. His dark, baritonal tenor is not a beautiful sound—and he has to sort out some technical flaws, such as sliding up to top notes, and shaky intonation—but for red-blooded Italian verismo opera, he’s clearly the real McCoy.”  Sunday Times, 1 March 1998

Andrea Chénier, London, April 1998:  “Chénier is not all bad. Tenors love it, of course, because they get four arias—one in each act. And they’re expressly designed to incite passion and enflame desire. The audience’s, that is. Love and idealism writ large—does it every time. You could see that José Cura was already well-primed for his task before he rose to it. Riding on the crest of his new-found reputation as the latest ‘fourth tenor”, his poet/patriot stood tall and swarthy, a tenorial colossus who knows he’s made it. The dark, grainy voice was wielded with determination. The big high notes arrived at by way of that curious glottal spring-board effect which effectively adds an appoggiatura to them. There’s an athleticism, an air of sport about his singing which is, of course, in the great tradition of tenor stylists, while his musicianship is apparent in long phrases such as those that grace his second act aria, ‘Credo a una possanza arcane’.”  Independent, 2 February 1998

Andrea Chénier, London, April 1998:  “The role of Chénier is tailor-made for [José Cura]: there is something viscerally exciting about his platform presence.” Opera, May 1998

Andrea Chénier, London, April 1998:  “José Cura’s dark, burnished tenor shaped Chénier’s music with such impassioned fervor that he brought the house down.” The Stage, 12 March 1998

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, February 2004:  “For Argentine tenor José Cura, the part of the French poet who finds his love in Maddalena and leaves this life with her by way of the guillotine is a star role that seems ideally suited for his voluminous tenor voice.  The four arias and two duets play to the skills of the tenor.”   Opera Notes, February 2004

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, February 2004:  “In terms of division of labor in the generation of tenors Roberto Alagna, Marcelo Alvarez, Juan Diego Flórez and Ramón Vargas, José Cura is the man for the powerful: pithy and penetrating high notes are sounded with emphasis. And if the versatile Argentine also get the opportunity to paint the sounds with yearning, painful expression, then bouquets for him are certainly appropriate. However, one hoped that even with a resident of the vocal Champions League singing there will be facets and shades of multi-dimension. This time hope was of no avail. In the depth of this voice remained inflexible in giving a soul to the figure of the poet Chénier.”  Der Standard, 2 February 2004

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, February 2004:  “He provides sold-out houses, delights his admirers around the world and is considered one of the best tenors of his generation: when the Argentine José Cura stands on stage anywhere, frenetic jubilation is inevitable. So it is at the Vienna State Opera, where Cura has now debuted as Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. No doubt Cura knows what he owes his fans: large gestures, a little poetry, many high notes and a good deal of theatricality, even if the middle register does not always follow the will of the artist.”  Kurier, 2 February 2004

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, February 2004:  “Audience favorite José Cura made his debut in the house on the ring as the title character. He did not quite convince: in the piano passages his tenor sounded somewhat pressed and strained. But when it came to sing the praises of love or revolution, then he sang out powerfully. The audience rewarded the cast with thunderous applause.”  Wiener Zeitung, 11 February 2004  

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, February 2004:  “José Cura tries not to emphasize the macho; as a result he seemed to hold something back in his characterization of Chénier. His voice is heavy, somewhat inflexible, but surely forte. His singing is not always beautiful but his strong, masculine appearance compensates for some technical difficulties in the middle register. Since women are not immune to male beauty, hearts open to him and manifest in ovations. Finally, a tenor who is worth cheering.” AON, 10 February 2004

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, December 2004:  “Even if the aged Andrea Chénier production of the Vienna State Opera bubbled over with the revolutionary verve of a homely early Victorian (Biedermeier) salon: At this reprise on Wednesday as well, one could yearn, suffer, sob—and applaud euphorically, all thanks to dynamic interpretation. Sniff, is this beautiful or what! One minute, this effervescent hormone hydrant named José Cura serenades the marvels of poetry with tenorial ardor and heart rending top notes; the next, he is tossed and carted off to the scaffold as Andrea Chénier, protagonist of the Verismo hit by the same name. And after a deeply emotional duet, his beloved jumps on and joins him of her own free will--because on the other side of the threatening blade of the Paris Guillotine, a new and better world is awaiting both of them. To tell the truth: a death for love which is that consummately emotional is the only thing that could possibly be more alluring and beautiful than the sense of relish imparted by this reprise of Giordano’s tear jerker at the State Opera—in spite of the meter-thick layer of dust which by now weighs heavily on Otto Schenk’s museum-like cloak-and-dagger production that dates from 1981. But that proverbial dust isn’t just blown away—acoustically speaking—by the title hero alone: a spirited Marco Armiliato is in charge of an orchestra whose play is saber-rattling or squeezes the tear ducts—as desired.”  Wiener Zeitung, 4 December 2004

Andrea Chénier, Vienna, December 2004:  “The José-Cura-Festival at the Vienna State Opera continues. After Verdi’s Stiffelio and Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, the tenor is now singing the role of Andrea Chénier in Umberto Giordano’s opera by the same name. Cura enriches this worn Otto Schenk production as well, because he acts with a degree of passion and devotion that we know from few other singers. To be sure, there are greater and more elegant voices—but in the totality of his presence (appearance and performance), Cura is excellent, first-class.”  Kurier, 3 December 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated:  Friday, September 02, 2016  © Copyright: Kira