José Cura press reviews
Opera Gala, Oviedo: 'One of the best opera galas, if not the best, to have been heard in Oviedo in decades. This was the general impression among the public who attend the charity gala in the Campoamor Theater on Wednesday, which brought together two great voices of enormous acclaim and different temperaments, Elina Garança and José Cura.
[…] The program continued with a presentation from Otello by José Cura. The tenor sang a shattering "Dio! Mi potevi scagliar», que fue una de las páginas con los mejores momentos de la actuación del tenor. My potevi Scaglia." The Argentine singer, one with a controversial career, transmits the dramatic quality like few others though sometimes the overacting falls into histrionic poses. But add to this his beautiful timbre and good muscle and it all suggests a winning value beyond market invention. At the same time, channeling skills through technique is essential.' Diana Díaz, Lne.es y La Nueva España, 3 June 2009
Carmen, Vienna, Feb 09: '... But Carmen comes down to the two leads, and there must have been some astronomical anomaly behind the pairing of baroque specialist Vesselina Kasarova, new to the role, and the force of nature called José Cura: the two worked off each other to create an edge-of-your-seat intensity, offering blood-and-guts characterizations while never neglecting Bizet's score....[Cura] was clearly a brute in his lead-up to a staggeringly gorgeous, divinely phrased flower song. ...' Larry Lash, Opera News, May 2009
La Rondine, Bologna (conductor), Feb 09: '…continuing on to the orchestra conductor was the surprising presence of José Cura, and as a conductor he surely has a future in front of him. To begin with, the care, if you excuse the word games, with which he wraps, protects the soloists is the reason for the sustained singing. … He was attentive to the rich colors that Puccini spread freely throughout this bird that are many times underestimated. Bravo Maestro Cura!' La Recensione, April 2009
Cav & Pag, Met, Mar & Apr 09: '?Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci showcased their second casts March 30, notably slowly led by Pietro Rizzo, one of several young new Met conductors this season. The ever-puzzling Argentine tenor José Cura took over the evening's double duty - Mascagni's Turiddu and Leoncavallo's Canio - from Roberto Alagna. Cura fared better in the Mascagni work, tapping into the self-hatred that most Turiddus miss, creating an interesting portrait of a somewhat weary village playboy fatally caught between duty and the call of one last fling. His method remains an odd one, but he managed good sound and gave the oft-shouted-through "Addio alla madre" a dynamic variety that made it the more moving. The almost-improvised-seeming Canio, for which Cura has all the assets, just didn't add up as a unified character and rarely sparked excitement.
Ildiko Komlosi enjoyed warranted exposure this year as Herodias and (now) Santuzza. If not a dewy-fresh teen, neither was Cura's seducer; together they made something more complex and real of their long duo scene than I've seen in this staging for years.’ David Shengold, Gay City News, 30 March 2009
Cav & Pag, Met, Mar & Apr 09: 'On Friday, I caught the final performance of the season revival of Zeffirelli's production of "Cav/Pag," a double-header of the Puccini-esque one-act operas "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci." The roles of Turiddu in "Cav" and Canio in "Pag" were shared between Robert Alagna for the past few performances and later Jose Cura.... I thought that Cura was in excellent voice and gave a strong performance in both operas. I always recommend this double bill of realismo melodramas for newcomers to opera.' Matt Windman, AM NewYork/New York City Theater, 13 April 2009
Cav & Pag, Met, Mar & Apr 09: 'The spotlight on the curtain just before it rose on Franco Zeffirelli’s almost too-accurate Sicilian mountain village drew from us soft gasps of alarm, but it was just an announcement that José Cura, though suffering from a cold, would be singing both leading tenor roles in any case. In the event, his opening serenade did indeed sound labored — but when was the last time you heard any tenor, even in the pink of health, sing that aria of sated love with an easy, leggiero line? For the rest of the night he was fine.....' John Yohalem, Opera Today, 7 April
Cav & Pag, Met, Mar & Apr 09: 'Double duty in Leoncavallo's "Cavalleria Rusticana" and Mascagni's "Pagliacci" has become common at the Metropolitan Opera. [...] Before this year, the only tenors to sing both "Cav" and "Pag" leads at the same Met performance were Kurt Baum, Placido Domingo, Frederick Jagel, Salvatore Licitra, Ermanno Mauro and Thomas Salignac. Now both Roberto Alagna and José Cura have performed the verismo doubleheader in the very same month. [...] Cura is not ideal but is far closer, with a baritonial timbre but a big bright side. He combined for thrilling duets with mezzo-soprano Ildiko Komlosi (Santuzza) in "Cavalleria" and soprano Nuccia Focile (Nedda) in "Pagliacci." His "Vesti la giubba" was penetrating [...] ' Ronald Blum, AP, 1 April 2009
Andrea Chénier, Karlsruhe, Mar 09: 'The character of the revolutionary French poet is written into Cura’s body. Magnificent was the fiery appeal in the salon of the Coignys when he presents his ideals or before the tribunal when he defends his honor. Also the singing requirements [of the role] lie extremely well within his vocal chords. After a few unfocused moments in the first act, he raced from highlight to highlight, crowned by the scene that might be considered to have taken the honors of the evening, at the beginning of the fourth act, ?Come un bel di di maggio,’ in which José Cura also found quiet, gentle tones.' Manfred Kraft, Neue Badische Nachrichten, 17 March 2009
Tosca, Vienna, Mar 09: 'Three artists with extraordinary stage instincts shaped this noble thriller in the 525th performance of this production. José Cura is the extraordinary man familiar in illustration and from the beginning he scores points as the revolutionary and the lover, especially when facing the firing squad at the execution command, recognizing it as the consequence of the perfidy of Scarpia he had understood for a long time. The fact he proved, in defiance of his critics, that his is a still a serious singer positively rounded off his achievement of the evening. With almost sinewy stretched phrases, concentration, and brilliance in the high notes, he sang the aria and the duet in the first act with the requisite fervor, with convincing despair in the dungeon scene and hurled an ardent Vittoria at the police chief.' Peter Skorepa, Der Neue Merker, 5 March 2009