La Rondine is not the kind of opera I particularly like: I’m all into darker stuff, like Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. But this particular version of the Italian Puccini’s bohemian tragi-comedy is notable because all the singers on it come from various parts of the planet.
There’s Elena Mosuc from Romania, Siobhan Stagg from Australia, soprano Evelin Novak and conductor Ivan Repušić from Croatia, Stephanie Lauricella from the US, Álvaro Zambrano from Chile, bass Jan-Hendrik Rootering, tenor Wolfgang Klose, the Munich Radio Orchestra and Bavarian Radio chorus from Germany, as well as Japanese Taro Tokagi, and South Korean Yosep Kang.
But of them all I’m most excited about Elbenita Kajtazi, a 26 year old from Mitrica in Kosovo. Despite growing up in one of the worst armed conflicts of the second half of 20th century, Elbenita’s talent has helped her emerge victorious over the pain and suffering. She has been singing soprano in prominent opera performances and winning opera competitions. This season she’s headed to Hamburg, where she will sing for two years at the State Opera, and for a guest appearance in Chile with some Strauss.