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Appearance of a Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli on the world scene ten years ago marked a significant event in modern opera art. The singer's rapid rise was breathtaking and nowadays, he is mentioned only next to the stars of the highest magnitude. His creative work is top-rated and it is acknowledged by the world vocal school coryphees. He is welcome at prestigious parties and performances at Milan's La Scala Opera House, Paris Bastille Opera House, Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Royal Opera House in London, Deutsche Opera Berlin and Vienna State Opera.

The reason is obvious the singer with expressively beautiful and strong voice and perfect vocal technique is equally impressive both, on opera stage and at recitals. His wide repertoire comprises of all most important baritone repertoire parts representing composers of different epochs and styles. His vocal and artistic performances are harmoniously merged and directed at showing out the inner world of the hero rather than the creation of an external effect. Every character portrayed by Ataneli deeply impresses awareness of the audience owing to the lyricism and dramatic expression, humour and heroic rise gradually taking turns. He is capable of overcoming any scenic problem feeling naturally at ease in traditional performances and modernist stage versions the essential point is that the stage concept should originate from its musical composition. Observance of conceptual accuracy in music and scenic score is his primary creative principle that he never meets halfway.

The starting point was Georgia. The singer's debut in opera "Un ballo in maschera" by G.Verdi in 1989 at Tbilisi Zakaria Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Academic Theatre was the first serious success. It became obvious for all that in face of a young singer, Lado Ataneli a new professional singer with strong voice, fascinating timbre and marked artistic ability came into theatre. It was soon followed by international acknowledgement he deserved three Grand-Prix awards (Barcelona, Spain 1989, Köln Germany 1996, Vienna, Austria -1996).

Although the contest jury members and the audience present unanimously pointed out Italian "Bel Canto" in Ataneli's voice, in 1995 he left for Germany. "I preferred Germany to other European countries for living" , the singer says in his interview. "The intuition did not deceive me. I found myself among amazingly human, disciplined and diligent people. It gave me an opportunity to think, estimate my actual capabilities and get to know my own "self".
Lado Ataneli's tense, complicated and interesting life and the last decade of his international recognition, abundantly and excellently illustrated in the present collection, originates just from Germany.

Here you can view Lado Ataneli in all those parts that brought hirn worldwide farne, get acquainted with the theatres, performers, conductors and producers, who he had worked with, estimate his diverse performance of the same parts in various theatres and determine Ataneli-singer's artistic performances that even a dramatic ac tor may envy.
In this book you can read out delightful estimations of opera stage stars, conductors, shrewd opera critics and ordinary admirers concerning Lado Ataneli's creative work.
This is not an easy task to re ach such heights. Lado Ataneli's great talent and unlimited diligence are entailed with the grace of God that he deifies in his devoted spouse and accompanist, the first adviser and critic, manager and chronicler Manana Chikovani, who contributed greatly to preparation and publication of the present excellent collection.

Manana Kordzaia, Tbilisi, 2005

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