Nomeda Kazlaus

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Nomeda Kazlaus (born as Nomeda Kazlauskaitė in Vilnius, Lithuania) is one of the most outstanding Lithuanian operatic sopranos of the contemporary generation of singers, an international opera diva who has appeared in leading roles in many European opera houses including the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Teatro Malibran in Venice. Nomeda Kazlaus is also TV host, vocal professor, jury chair and member of many international competitions, laureate of four international singing competitions, winner of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture Young Artist 2007 award.

Biography[edit]

Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, Kazlaus is as frequent a guest on some of the most prestigious European theatre and concert stages, international festivals as she stars in international productions at such venues as the St. John's Smith Square in London, the Grand Hall of the Kremlin’s Gostiny Dvor in Moscow, Castel de Perelada in Spain, Moscow Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and Conservatoire Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, etc.

She is giving guest appearances and leading role performances at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater; Teatro Alighieri, Ravena; Malibran Theater, Venice; Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg; Pergola Opera Festival, Wroclaw; Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia; Lithuanian National Opera Theatre, Wroclaw Philharmonics, Poland; Lithuanian National Philharmonic etc.

She has been performing along a 20th-century opera legend Montserrat Caballe since 2000.

Nomeda Kazlaus is author and host of the ‚Skambantys pasauliai su Nomeda Kazlaus’ (The Ringing Worlds with Nomeda Kazlaus) TV talk show series at the Lithuanian National TV where she interviews world-famous music and culture personalities like Montserrat Caballe (soprano), Christoph Eschenbach (conductor, pianist), Sarah Brightman (soprano), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone), John Fisher (conductor, Metropolitan Opera Director), Sasha Walz (choreographer), Erwin Schrott (baritone), Jostein Gaarder (writer), Erwin Wurm (artist), Krzysztof Zanussi (film director), Krzysztof Penderecki (composer), Charles Castronovo (tenor), Alexander Markov (violinist), Jelena Bashkirova (pianist), Ruta Lee (actress), Constantine Orbelian (pianist, conductor), Lawrence Brownlee (tenor), Ivan Monighetti (cellist), Montserrat Marti (soprano), Andrei Makarevich (singer) etc.

Kazlaus is a chair of Eurovision National Jury in Lithuania (2016); chair of Lithuanian national singers‘ competition named after V. Jonuskaite-Zauniene; chair of ‚Music Talent League’ (2016); jury member of the ‚Golden Voice‘ (‚Auksinis balsas‘) television project of the Lithuanian National TV (2013, 2014, 2016).

She is a founder (in 2015) of the international annual vocal and stage acting masterclasses in Lithuania ’PALANGA SUMMER ACADEMY’ (’PALANGOS VASAROS AKADEMIJA’). Kazlaus is author of singing master classes at the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy (2014).

Her leading roles repertoire includes Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (Lithuanian National Philharmonic); Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Die Walkure (First Lithuanian Brunnhilde, 15 premières - Teatro Alighieri, Ravenna, Italy; Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Lithuanian National Opera Theatre); Leonore in L.van Beethoven’s Fidelio (Lithuanian National Opera Theatre); Elisabetta in Don Carlo (Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia); Anne Boleyn in Henry VII by C.Saint-Saens (sang with Montserrat Caballe and Simon Estes, Grand Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain); Desdemona in Otello (sang with Ian Storey, Pergola Opera Festival, Wroclaw, Poland); Sieglinde (cover) in Die Walkure (conductor Valery Gergiev, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia); Ortlinde in Die Walkure (conductor Valery Gergiev, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia); Marina Mnishek in Boris Godunov (Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia); Carmen in Carmen (Kosice Opera Theatre, Slovakia); Eboli in Don Carlo (Lithuanian Lithuanian National Opera Theatre); Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino (First Lithuanian Preziosilla, sang with Sergej Larin, Lithuanian National Philharmonic) etc.

Conductors she has worked with include Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseev, José Collado, Anton Guadagno, Tugan Sokhiev, Jacek Kaspszyk, Alexander Sladkovski, Roberto Paternostro, Mikhail Sinkevich, Miquel Ortega, Ewa Michnik etc.

Soloists she has performed with include Montserrat Caballe, Simon Estes, Ian Storey, Carlos Alvarez, Vasilij Gerello, Montserrat Marti, Vittorio Vitelli, Stefano Palatchi, John Keyes etc.

International reviewers describe the singer as being gifted with an impressive and powerful voice of rich and vibrant color, vast range, exceptional musicality, perfect pitch on every register, emotional precision, enchanting acting and personal charm.

Kazlaus studied piano and musicology at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art in Vilnius from the age of 6 and continued to the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where she graduated with a doctoral degree. A professional pianist[citation needed], Nomeda altered her musical career early in her studies to become an opera singer. Starting as a high dramatic mezzo-soprano, her professional debut was in the title role of Bizet's Carmen, followed by roles of Eboli in Don Carlos, Prezziosilla in La forza del destino, and others. Her current repertoire includes Brünnhilde and Sieglinde in Die Walküre, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Desdemona in Otello and other roles in the dramatic soprano range.

Kazlaus' biggest breakthrough came in Andorra in 2000, during the master classes given by Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé. Having witnessed her performance, Caballe greeted and complimented her. The encounter led to an artistic collaboration between them, glimpses of which are featured in the documentary Caballe, Beyond Music (Morena Films, 2003) and in Montserrat Caballé 40 anys al Liceu (Fundacio Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2002). She was also a main guest at the Montserrat Caballé prasentiert Stars von Morgen (Franco-German ARTE TV) in 2001. A series of joint concerts soon followed, culminating in a Pierre Jourdan production of Henry VIII by Camille Saint-Saëns, featuring Montserrat Caballé as Catherine of Aragon, Simon Estes as Henry VIII and Nomeda Kazlaus as Anne Boleyn.

Kazlaus has taken part in master classes with Montserrat Caballé, Anatolij Goussev, Ernst Haefliger, Francisco Araiza, Julia Hamari, Thomas Hemsley, Louis Manikas, and others. She has worked with theatre directors Pierre Jourdan, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Michal Znaniecki, Jurij Aleksandrov and others. She has performed with Simon Estes, Montserrat Marti, Carlos Alvarez, Vasilij Gerello, Ian Storey, Vittorio Vitelli, and others.

Kazlaus received the Richard-Wagner-Verband Bayreuth Grant (Germany) for dramatic soprano singers in 2003. She has performed in leading roles and gala concerts at the Ravenna Festival in Italy,[1] the Peralada Festival in Spain,[2] Moscow Spring in Russia, Usedom (Germany) and other international festivals.

She has performed at St. John's, Smith Square in London, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Gostiny Dvor (with Montserrat Caballé, on the occasion of the inauguration of the hall), the Moscow Conservatory Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, the Cankar Hall in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and at other international venues.

Kazlaus sang the role of Brünnhilde in 15 international performances of Richard Wagner's Die Walküre between August 2007 and April 2008.

In 2009, she released her solo album The Art of Dramatic Soprano.

In May 2010, Nomeda Kazlaus facilitated the arrival of Montserrat Caballé in Vilnius, where they gave a joint gala concert [3] at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their collaboration.

Nomeda Kazlaus (Reviews) as Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Die Walkure at the International Ravenna Festival, Italy, 2007; Ljublijana Festival, Slovenia, 2007; Lithuanian National Opera theatre, 2007 Nomeda Kazlaus as Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Die Walkure at the International Ravenna Festival, Italy, 2007; Ljublijana Festival, Slovenia, 2007; Lithuanian National Opera theatre, 2007, reviews

‘Striking and thought-provoking visually, with well-paced and involving direction and a largely homegrown cast, this staging benefited enormously from an outstanding Brunnhilde - Nomeda Kazlaus, who brought an impressive and powerful soprano voice to bear on this most demanding role, while at the same time, a genuine poignancy to her acting, especially in the great Act III duet with Wotan. She was always dead center on pitch, even in her exultant battlecry, and her nascent eroticism made one wish to see her future encounter with Siegfried. It was a truly sensuous performance.’ Brendan G. Carroll, Opera Now, July/August 2007, England, after Die Walkure at the Lithuanian National Opera Theatre

‘The soprano Nomeda Kazlaus was especially outstanding with her more than usually human and subtly feminine interpretation of the Brunhilde character, in which she skillfully found enough space to also show the belligerent side of her, not withholding any of the obligatory pinnacles associated with the role.’ Giulia Vannoni, La Voce, July 2007, Italy, after Die Walkure at the Teatro Alighieri during the Ravenna annual festival

‘Nomeda Kazlaus skillfully interprets Brunnhilde; she embellishes the character with her voice, beauty and powerful vitality, while being utmost delicate in conveying all its motherly and daughterly fondness.’ Stefania Bevilacqua, www.ateatro.it, (108) 16/05/2007, Italy, after Die Walkure at the Lithuanian National Opera Theatre

‘However, it was the local artist, Nomeda Kazlaus, who shined through above all the international cast as Brunnhilde.’ Dmitri Morozov, The Culture, April 5-11, 2007 edition, after Die Walkure at the Lithuanian National Opera Theatre, Russia

‘Nomeda Kazlaus successfully tamed the very demanding role of Brunhilde and her performance was one of grandeur.’ ‘A Lecture from Lithuania’ by Gregor Pom, The Pop/Kultura, July 13, 2007, Slovenia, after Die Walkure at the Ljublijana Festival

‘In our opinion, the first Lithuanian Brunhilde, embodied by Nomeda Kazlaus, is a stunning match of the director’s creative vision. The obvious bond between him and the singer as well as the sensitive nature of Nomeda enabled her to create a quality portrait of motherly and daughterly kindness both vocally and artistically.’ Ido Baldasso/Stefania Bevilacqua, The Muzikos Barai, June 13, 2007, Lithuania

‘The impressive debut of Nomeda Kazlaus in the role of Brunnhilde which she appeared in at all five performances calls for an acclaim. Having lived the music of Wagner‘s on the grand stages of Moscow and St.Petersburgh, this solo performer charmed with beautifully polished voice, vibrant with equally qualitative sound in all registers. She also excelled in the interpretation of the character.’ Beata Baublinskiene, The Bravissimo, April 2007, Lithuania

‘With the appearance of Brunnhilde created by Nomeda Kazlaus in the 2nd act one finally witnesses the voice of the genuine Nibelungenlied calibre.’ Renata Baltrusyte, The Face, March 22, 2007, Lithuania

‘The distinctly accurate singing and stage stamina of Nomeda Kazlaus were a delightful surprise for the audience of the Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theatre.’ Asta Andrikonyte, The Lithuanian Morning, March 20, 2007, Lithuania

‘It compells me to laud those who assembled the set of soloists of such resounding qualities as the powerful and convincingly dramatic soprano Nomeda Kazlaus (Brunnhilde).’ Rasa Gecaite, The Atgimimas, March 23, 2007, Lithuania

‘The role of Brunnhilde was tamed by Nomeda Kazlaus. <...> The young singer impressed with a very fit shape and culture of her voice as well as consistent and precise acting technique. She displayed a very clear inner vision of the role she was in, strived to reveal the full range of vocal drama. Her most successful and convincing moments both vocally and in terms of theatrical expression were the episode with Siegmund in the 2nd and the finale of the 3rd acts.’ Jurate Katinaite, The Literature & Art, March 23, 2007, Lithuania

‘Nomeda Kazlaus who interprets the role of Brunnhilde owns a remarkably stylish singing manner underlined with perfect articulation.’ Sarunas Nakas, The Guilds Of Culture, March 2007, Lithuania

‘The last act of the opera awards with exceptionally impressive duos of Wotan and his Valkyrie daughter Brunnhilde by Nomeda Kazlaus.’ Joana Giedraityte, The Time, March 16, 2007, Lithuania

‘Nominated for the Golden Stage Cross national award in the category of the Young Artist for the exceptionally startling debut in the role of Brunnhilde in R.Wagner‘s Die Walkure.’ The Bravissimo, April 2007, Lithuania

Nomeda Kazlaus (Reviews) as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello at the International Pergola Opera Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, 2008, reviews

'The famous Lithuania-born opera singer Nomeda Kazlaus was invited to breathe the life of her own into the role of the black vice gerent’s wife. Armed with her lush soprano voice, often pierced with dramatic flares, the singer made a riveting reading into the soul of the kind-hearted Desdemona. One could hear the unconditional artistic devotion, awash with sincerity in the 3rd act during the sad willow ballad Dio ti Giocondi, as well as during the final prayer Era Piu Calmo, Ave Maria. The work she has done calls for acclamation befitting a true diva.' ‘Othello Abandons Cyprus for the Island of Piasek’ by Wilfried Gorny, www.maestro.net.pl, June 19, 2008

'The production was blessed with a wonderful cast of singers, especially the outstanding Lithuanian Nomeda Kazlaus, the owner of the powerful soprano rich in colour and depth.' ‘The Drama of Envy Unfolds in Freezing Cold’ by Bronislaw Tumilowicz, the Przegląd Nr. 26, June 29, 2008

'A truly moving Desdemona was brought to life by Nomeda Kazlaus from Lithuania.' ‘Othello on the Water – press reviews about the first night of the opera’ by Adam Domagala, the Gazeta Wyborcza, June 16, 2008

'A big surprise of this international production was soprano Nomeda Kazlaus who created the role of Desdemona <…>. The suspense she generated grew as the opera progressed and became palpable in the final act when Kazlaus revealed her vocal and artistic prowess in the impressive incarnation of the prayer and subsequent death in the arms of her beloved." ‘Verdi’s Chamber Othello in Wroclaw’ by Magdalena Talik, www.kulturaonline.pl, June 16, 2008

'The Lithuanian soprano Nomeda Kazlaus convinced beyond doubt of the legitimacy of her concept of Desdemona. Hers was the powerful and valorous Desdemona, but also the one that graciously gives in to the force of destiny in the name of love.' ‘The Death Creep’s in on a Freezing Night of Opera’ by Jacek Marczynski, the Rzeczpospolita, June 16, 2008

'Nomeda Kazlaus as Desdemona truly walks in her character’s shoes <…> the stunning scene where she sings of the willow, then the heartrending prayer in the final act hypnotized with sheer beauty and warmth of emotion.' ‘The Drama of Passion’ by Magdalena Talik, the Polska Gazeta Wroclawska, June 16, 2008

'Lithuanian soprano Nomeda Kazlaus (Desdemona) is yet another success of this production. She skillfully integrated and conveyed kindness and honesty on the one hand as well as resolve and devotion on the other, in other words, all the kernel features of Desdemona’s character.' Izabelka Oleksik, the Dziennik Teatralny Kraków, June 18, 2008

Operatic repertoire[edit]

Concert repertoire[edit]

Discography[edit]

  • The Art of Dramatic Soprano (Music Mills CD release 2009)
  • Schubert's Mass in C-major Nr. 4, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (live recording, Warner Classics CD release 2003)
  • Recordationes de Christo moriendo by Paweł Łukaszewski (live recording, PRCD-003, Prior Musica/Prior Records CD release 2002)

References[edit]

External links[edit]