On 22 January 2021, mezzo-soprano Bernadett Wiedemann and baritone Zoltán Kelemen made a selection of their favourite arias and duets from Verdi to Kodály. Their recital was streamed from 8:00 p.m. on Facebook and Origo.
Bernadett Wiedemann earned her degree from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in 1993, where her most influential professors, alongside Zsolt Bende, were Zsuzsanna Eőry, András Mikó, András Békés and Ádám Medveczky. She rounded out her education at master classes taught by Joan Sutherland, Vera Rózsa and Yevegeny Nesterenko. During her three-decade career she has become an important artist of the Hungarian State Opera, where her repertoire includes all the essential operas from baroque to contemporary compositions. She has worked under the baton the greatest conductors, has made several recordings and has made guest appearances in Austria, Italy, Savonlinna, Ljubljana, Wiesbaden, Pozsony (Bratislava), as well as Beijing, Saõ Paolo, Japan and Qatar. She has received many awards, most notably the Ferenc Liszt Award in 2006, and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit in 2020.
Although initially inclined to become a prose actor, Zoltán Kelemen's interest turned toward opera. In 1993 he was accepted into the chorus of the Csokonai Theatre of Debrecen, and was being given minor roles as early as his first season. Meanwhile, he spent three years studying voice with Éva Mohos Nagy. In June 1995, he sang the role of Belcore in the Second International Budapest Singing Competition organised at the Opera House, which was based around the roles of L'elisir d'amore. At the jury's request, he continued in the semi-finals as Dulcamara, and then went on to win the entire competition in this role. The victory in the international competition started his career in Hungary and abroad. He returned to the Opera in 2012 with the role of Iago and since then has regularly appeared both there and at the Erkel Theatre in numerous principal roles. He has also participated in several international tours of the institute. His repertoire includes about sixty works, from buffo bass to lyric baritone and heldenbaritone roles in Verdi's operas.
Artistic directors of the performance: András Aczél and Katalin Kovács
Pianist: Erika Dallos
Hosted by Melitta Gyüdi
Wagner: Das Rheingold – Erda's monologue ("Weiche Wotan, Weiche!") – Bernadett Wiedemann
Wagner: Tannhäuser – Wolfram's aria from Act 3 ("Wie Todesahnung... O du, mein holder Abendstern") – Zoltán Kelemen
Verdi: Falstaff – Mrs Quickly and Falstaff's duet from Act 3 ("Reverenza!") – Bernadett Wiedemann and Zoltán Kelemen
Chopin: Nocturne in B-flat minor, Op. 9, No. 1 – Erika Dallos
Verdi: Ernani – Don Carlo's aria from Act 3 ("Oh, de’ verd’anni miei") – Zoltán Kelemen
Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur – Princess de Bouillon's aria ("Acerba voluttà") – Bernadett Wiedemann
Giordano: Andrea Chénier – Gérard's monologue ("Nemico della patria") – Zoltán Kelemen
Kodály: Háry János – Háry and Örzse's duet ("Tiszán innen, Dunán túl") – Bernadett Wiedemann and Zoltán Kelemen
Photo by Attila Nagy