In the final Masquerade of 2020, renowned bass István Kovács and young soprano Zsuzsanna Ádám made a selection of their favourite arias by Mozart and Verdi. Their joint aria recital was streamed on 20 December 2020, from 8:00 p.m. on Facebook and Origo.hu.
Debrecen-born István Rácz studied under such renowned personalities as Lamberto Gardelli and Yevgeny Nesterenko. Audiences at the Hungarian State Opera have enjoyed his booming voice and acting for three decades in popular bass roles by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini as well as Tchaikovsky, Weber and Wagner. He has performed on international stages many times, he used to be a member of the Oper der Stadt Köln, he made appearances at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and beside many European cities such as Taormina, Rome, Stuttgart, Klagenfurt and Freiburg, he has sung for audiences in Japan and Malaysia. He is a popular soloist of oratorios, he frequently sings Requiems by Mozart and Verdi. He has been awarded several prizes including the Bartók–Pásztory Award and the Ferenc Liszt Award.
Kecskemét-born soprano Zsuzsanna Ádám played the cello until the age of 12 and studied piano for five years. She was also a member – and soloist – with one of the most highly regarded girls’ choirs in Hungary: the Aurin Female Choir. She continued her studies as a singer in Pécs and Szeged, she spent a semester in Mantua as well, and she also did post-graduate work at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music under Éva Marton. Between 2013 and 2015, she was a member of the chorus of the National Theatre of Miskolc, where she also started singing solo parts. Later, she made her debut in Mantua, Szeged, Budapest and Cluj-Napoca. She was a finalist and winner of several singing competitions. In May 2018, at the invitation of the Hungarian State Opera, she sang the solo soprano part of Verdi’s Requiem at the Comedy Theatre of Budapest. Afterwards, the audience of the Opera could also hear her first in La rondine by Puccini in a guest performance by the Hungarian Opera Cluj-Napoca, then as Erzsébet Szilágy in Hunyadi László by Erkel.
Artistic directors of the performance: Albert Mányik and Andrea Valkai
Hosted by Szilveszter Ókovács
Featuring on the piano: Balázs Kálvin
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro – Bartolo's aria from Act 1 ("La vendetta") – István Rácz
Mozart: Idomeneo – Elektra's aria from Act 1 ("Estinto é Idomeneo? Tutte nel cor vi sento") – Zsuzsanna Ádám
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin – Gremin's aria from Act 2 ("Lyubi vsye vorzasti pokorni") – István Rácz
Verdi: Il trovatore – Leonora's aria from Act 4 ("Vanne, lasciami... D’amor sull’ali rosee") – Zsuzsanna Ádám
Beethoven: Sonata in F Major, Op. 2 – Adagio – Balázs Kálvin
Verdi: Aida – Aida's aria from Act 1 ("Ritorna vincitor") – Zsuzsanna Ádám
Verdi: Don Carlo – King Filippo's aria from Act 3 ("Ella giammai m'amo") – István Rácz
Verdi: Don Carlo – Filippo and Elisabetta's duet from Act 3 – István Rácz and Zsuzsanna Ádám
Photo by Péter Rákossy