Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze was just 25 years old when she made her spectacular international debut at the 2008 Salzburg Festival. She was filling in for Anna Netrebko as Juliette in a new production of Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette," alongside Rolando Villazon. Opera News declared her "a Juliette to cherish." Just three short years later her career has skyrocketed, with leading-role debuts at the world's top opera houses, including her Metropolitan Opera debut last January. On her first solo recording, "Romantic Arias," Nino Machaidze hand-selected works from her current repertoire along with pieces she's always dreamed of singing.
Two exquisite arias from Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette," appear on this recording. Nino Machaidze is captivating in this great lyric role. The listener is swept away with each soaring phrase in Juliette's waltz, "Ah! je veux vivre."
Nino Machaidze's powerful voice, and her dramatic flair are spotlighted in another aria from this opera, "Amour, ranime mon courage," which is also known as the "Poison Aria." Highlights from two of the most challenging bel canto roles appear on this collection: Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," and Bellini's "La Sonnambula." The closing scene in Bellini's haunting tale of the sleepwalker floats from tender lyrical lines to vocal pyrotechnics testing every aspect of a singer's ability. Nino Machaidze is a young singer who already possesses the ability to amaze the listener with her expressive dark tone, and her incredible vocal technique.
One of the roles Machaidze has always dreamed of singing is Jules Massenet's "Manon." It's an enchanting role, a wonderful part, she explains. "I love this aria with my whole body." In the video from the recording session for this new release she uses her whole body as she sings, "Adieu, notre petite table," gesturing and lifting her arm to project and shape each high note. Even though she's never sung this role on stage it's obvious it's already part of her.
Two of Nino Machaidze's signature roles demonstrate her incredible flair for comedy. As Fiorilla in Rossini's "Il Turco in Italia," she was a "magnetic comedian," according to the Los Angeles Times, stealing the show even with her hair in huge curlers. Later this season, she'll be on stage as Marie in Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment," at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Machaidze earned international attention when she played this role in her early 20's at La Scala and at the Rome Opera. As Marie, the orphaned girl adopted by the regiment, her humorous antics and her vocal dexterity make her even more believable as a feisty, hard-working tomboy who discovers she's really an aristocrat.
This Georgian soprano seems to have it all. Nino Machaidze is a beautiful young woman and a fine actor gifted with a voice that commands the opera stage and entrances the audience. On her debut recording, "Romantic Arias," Machaidze has included pieces from her repertoire on this program and pieces she has always dreamed of singing on stage one day. With her natural talent, beauty and charm there is little doubt Nino Machaidze's dreams will come true.