Famed operatic baritone Samuel Ramey will appear at the Colorado Music Festival

The international opera star will step into the leading role in Bluebeard’s Castle July 23 & 24

By Peter Alexander

Samuel Ramey. Photo by Christian Steiner.

Samuel Ramey. Photo by Christian Steiner.

The Colorado Music Festival (CMF) announced today (July 14) that Samuel Ramey will sing the lead role in their concert performances of Bartók’s one-act opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, to be performed in the Chautauqua Auditorium Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24.

Ramey will step in for Hungarian bass-baritone Gabor Betz, who was forced to withdraw, the CMF said, “due to visa complications.”

Bluebeard’s Castle will be sung in Hungarian with English supertitles projected above the stage. The performances will be paired with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version) as part of the regular Festival Orchestra series of Thursday-Friday concert pairs. CMF music director Jean-Marie Zeitouni will conduct.

One of the most recognized and acclaimed baritones performing today, Ramey has sung at leading opera houses around the world, including La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London, and the Metropolitan in New York. His repertoire includes most of the major baritone roles, but it is especially noteworthy that he has made the role of Duke Bluebeard a specialty, having performed it at the Met for a PBS broadcast. His partners in the two-person opera have included American opera stars Jessye Norman at the Met and Denyce Graves at the Washington National Opera, as well as Krisztina Szabó, who will be his partner for the CMF performances, in Chicago.

Krisztina Szabó

Krisztina Szabó

A Canadian-Hungarian mezzo-soprano, Szabó is on the voice faculty of the University of Toronto. She performs frequently with the Canadian Opera Company, where she has sung a variety of roles from Musetta in La Bohéme to The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung.

A preview of the CMF Festival Orchestra performances of Bluebeard’s Castle and Firebird Suite will appear next Thursday, July 23, in Boulder Weekly.

More information about the performances and tickets to all CMF performances are available here.

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