An exciting performing of baritone hits. Legendary Geord Ots performs Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Rubinstein, Kálmán, Lehár, Ernesaks… in Estonian, Italian, Russian and German. Restored archive recordings. Released in September 2016 in co-operation with Estonian Public Broadcasting and Estonian National Opera.
|1||M. Leigh||Man of La Mancha||The Impossible Dream||2:25|
|2||W. A. Mozart||Don Giovanni||Aria of Don Giovanni Fin ch’han dal vino||1:20|
|3||W. A. Mozart||Don Giovanni||Duet of Don Giovanni and Zerlina La ci darem la mano||3:17|
|4||A. Rubinstein||The Demon||Demon’s Romance Na vozdushnom okeane||4:20|
|5||G. Ernesaks||The Coast of Storms||Petrov’s aria My Homeland, Faw Away from You Has Taken Me the Road||3:32|
|6||G. Verdi||Un balli in maschera||Renato’s aria Alzati! la tuo figlio||6:23|
|7||G. Verdi||Rigoletto||Rigoletto’s aria Cortigiani, vil razza dannata||4:39|
|8||G. Verdi||Otello||Iago’s monologue Credo in un Dio crudel||4:34|
|9||W. A. Mozart||Le nozze di Figaro||Figaro’s aria Non piu andrai||3:40|
|10||W. A. Mozart||Die Zauberflöte||Papageno’s aria Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen||4:10|
|11||W. A. Mozart||Don Giovanni||Don Giovanni’s serenade Deh, vieni alla finestra||1:53|
|12||W. A. Mozart||Le nozze di Figaro||Recitative and Figaro’s aria Tutto e disposto…||4:13|
|13||W. A. Mozart||Die Zauberflöte||Aria of Papageno and duet of Papageno and Papagena Papagena…||8:26|
|14||G. Bizet||Carmen||Escamillo’s couplet Votre toast, je peux vous le render||4:33|
|15||Y. Milyutin||Unsettled Happiness||Andrey’s song Sibirskiy prostor, vekovaya taiga||4:26|
|16||I. Kálmán||Gräfin Mariza||Tasziló’s czárdás Auch ich war einst ein feiner Csárdáskavalier||5:26|
|17||I. Kálmán||Die Bajadere||Radjami’s song Oh! Bajadere||2:27|
|18||F. Lehár||Die Lustige Witwe||Duet of Hanna and Danilo Bei jedem Walzenschritt||3:39|
|19||I. Kálmán||Die Zirkusprinzessin||The song of Mr. X Wieder hinaus aus strahlende Licht||4:28|
|20||I. Kálmán||Der Zigeuneprimas||Pali Rácz’s song Weit ist es mir gekommen||5:06|
|21||N. Listov||Romance Ya pomnyu vals, zvuk prelestnyi||3:14|
|22||D. Kabalevski||Colas Breugnon||Colas’s lullaby Slavnaya zverushka||2:43|
|23||I. Kálmán||Der Zigeuneprimas||Pali Rácz’s song Weit ist es mir gekommen||5:27|
Estonian TV and Radio Symphony Orchestra (#2–4, 6–13, 17, 18, 23); Estonia Theatre Symphony Orchestra (#15, 22); Estonian TV and Radio Variety Orchestra (#1, 5); USSR State Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra (#14); USSR State Radio & TV Pops Orchestra (#16, 19–21)
Conductors: Kirill Raudsepp (#2–5, 22), Neeme Järvi (#6–13), Vallo Järvi (#15–18), Peeter Saul (#1, 23), Yuri Silantiev (#16, 19–21), Vladimir Delman (#14)
All videos on the DVD are from the ERR archive.
Directors, Artur Rinne (#2–4, 6, 8, 14–17), Astrid Lepa (#9–13), Leida Levald (#18), Irene Haak-Lään (#22), Eino Tandre (#1, 7), Maie Kivita, Silja Milli (#23)
Sound engineer, restorer: Jüri Kruus
Video editing: Kalle Käo (ERR)
DVD authoring and mastering: Jüri Tallinn
Designers: Stella Tillo, Mart Kivisild
Photos: Estonian National Opera archive
Liner notes: Arne Mikk, Tiina Õun
Booklet editors: Liina Viru, Tiina Õun
Artistic producer: Arne Mikk
Executive co-producer: Peeter Vähi
Duration 95 min
Screen format 16:9 / 4:3, PAL, Region: all
© 2016 Estonian National Opera & ERP
Sergei Rachmaninoff once saw an inscription on a gravestone. “The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten” and he wrote: “If this is true, Chaliapin never dies. This wonderful artist with his magical gift is unforgettable… He will be a legend for the posterity.”
The same applies to Georg Ots, a soloist of the Estonian National Opera.
It might be argued that their voices were completely different, but their approach to the essence of every stage character in search of intonational variety or characteristic make-up details embraces a similar commitment.
Nature had given Georg Ots a baritone with a velvety timbre − a perfect voice for singing Mozart. This voice and his wonderful sense of music enchanted the audience in classical operetta roles and carried the romances of Schubert and Tchaikovsky to the listeners even in the very last rows.
The title role in Rubinstein’s opera The Demon has been a favourite role for all the dramatic voices, but Ots was the first to accentuate the suffering of this mystical character and his sorrowful yearning for love. The contrasts that Ots could bring out when singing the parts of Verdi’s Rigoletto or Iago could be clearly perceived even while listening to separate arias or watching separate scenes.
Georg Ots’ unique talent is a blend of features reflected by his wide-ranging knowledge of languages, the natural clarity of the text he sang and his organic movement on stage.
His life ended unjustly early due to an exhausting illness, but inspite of all his suffering, the audience and his colleagues always felt a Colas-Breugnon-like slogan radiating from Georg Ots − “We will live!” That is why his accomplishments as a singer will continue to live over times, and the legend of the great artist of a small nation will be passed on from generation to generation.
Georg Ots was born on March 21st, 1920 in Petrograd. He began his stage career as a chorus singer at the Estonian National Opera in 1944 and became a soloist already a year later. He graduated from Tallinn French Lyceum in 1938. The Soviet occupation that began in 1940 and the Second World War that reached the territory of Estonia in 1941 sent Georg Ots to the rear of the Soviet Union where he joined the State Art Ensembles of the Estonian SSR. Therefore he managed to graduate from Tallinn State Conservatory only in 1951, where he studied singing with the famous Estonian baritone Tiit Kuusik.
During the thirty years of his career at the Estonian National Opera (1945−1975), he created a whole gallery of roles polished in details and touched by his stage charm. He became a real star of opera and operetta and even more so on concert stages all over the Soviet Union and Finland. He was equally good as chamber music and lied singer and pop singer and also tried his hand at directing. Georg Ots has starred in many films − one of his top achievements was the film Mister X based on Imre Kálmán’s operetta Die Zirkusprinzessin that was produced by Lenfilm studios in 1958. His swan song was the staging of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1975. Unfortunately he did not finish his work… He died on September 5th, 1975.
His legacy is saved on numerous recordings, both solo and compilation albums. Georg Ots has been awarded many prizes and honorary titles. In 1960 he received the title of the Merited Artist of the Estonian SSR − the highest honorary title in the Soviet Union that artists could be awarded.
Since 1976 the Georg Ots Prize is awarded by the Estonian Theatre Union to outstanding Estonian opera singers, in 1996 a minor planet 1977 QAI received his name and Tallinn Georg Ots Music School is named after him as well as the street leading to the Estonian National Opera. There was a time when a sea liner carrying his name crossed the Gulf of Finland to take passengers to Helsinki.
D’Artagnan (Benatzky The Three Musketeers, 1945)
Sharpless (Puccini Madama Butterfly, 1945, 1949 and 1963)
Pierre / Red Shadow (Romberg The Desert Song, 1946 and 1963)
Silvio (Leoncavallo I pagliacci, 1946 and 1954)
Tonio (Leoncavallo I pagliacci, 1954)
Malatesta (Donizetti Don Pasquale, 1947)
Sándor Barinkay (J. Strauss Der Zigeunerbaron, 1948)
Valentin (Gounod Faust, 1949)
Onegin (Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin, 1949 and 1972)
Andrey (Milyutin Unsettled Happiness, 1949)
Petrov (Ernesaks The Coast of Storms, 1949)
Georges Germont (Verdi La traviata, 1950 and 1974)
Jim Kenyon (Frimli and Stothart Rose-Marie, 1950)
Don Giovanni (Mozart Don Giovanni, 1952)
Demon (Rubinstein The Demon, 1953 and 1962)
Rummu Jüri (E. Arro and L. Normet Rummu Jüri, 1955)
Danilo (Lehár Die lustige Witwe, 1955)
Escamillo (Bizet Carmen, 1955 and 1963)
Yeletsky (Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades, 1957)
Radjami (Kálmán Die Bajadere, 1957)
Figaro (Mozart Le nozze di Figaro, 1958)
Tasziló (Kálmán Gräfin Mariza, 1959)
Renato (Verdi Un ballo in maschera, 1961)
Meelis (V. Kapp Lembitu, 1961)
Robert (Tchaikovsky Iolanta, 1961)
Marcello (Puccini La bohème, 1962)
Iago (Verdi Otello, 1963)
Papageno (Mozart Die Zauberflöte, 1964)
Amonasro (Verdi Aida, 1964)
Fred Graham (Porter Kiss Me, Kate, 1966)
Porgy (Gershwin Porgy and Bess, 1966)
Rigoletto (Verdi Rigoletto, 1968)
Barnaba (Ponchielli La Gioconda, 1969)
Olav (Aav Vikings, 1969)
Colas (Kabalevsky Colas Breugnon, 1970)
Cervantes/Don Quixote (Leigh Man of La Mancha, 1971)
Rodrigo (Verdi Don Carlo, 1971)
Gianni Schicchi (Puccini Gianni Schicchi, 1972)
See also other recordings of opera artists released by ERP: 11 CD jubilee-box Estonia – 100, DVD Faust, DVD Wallenberg, Cyrano de Bergerac, Lembitu, Verdi Wagner 200, La donna è mobile, CD + bonus DVD Voices of the Estonian National Opera / Estonia Ooperihääled
Distribution by Estonian National Opera (phone +372 6831242; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)