A soprano with charisma
(“La Nacion” about her Aida)
Assia Davidov grew up in Uzbekistan far away from the great center of musical metropole and opera. In early childhood she realized a great love for music, mainly singing, as her mother still used to sing folk and cradle songs for her. However nobody could guess that there was a talent growing up that would later be a wonderful combination of heart and artistic power, of feeling and intellectual pervasion.
In 1988 it was first confirmed that she was on the right way, a decision that she had made early in her life: she won the singing competition “Talents are welcome” in Tashkent, where she had started to study piano and then singing. She had never needed that confirmation for herself, for her the path was clear. For the world of music this 1st prize was however very important: it began to notice the young singer. Her debut was the Contessa in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro”, a part with some difficulties and complexities. “Mozart is like a balm to the soul, but his seeming simplicity is often not possible to manage, neither technically nor stylistically. It requires a lot of discipline.”
Operetta is sometime the neglected child, which may be unfair, at least as far as the requirements for the performers are concerned. The continuous change from singing to speaking requires a well-founded vocal technique. Assia Davidov has such a technique, problems of heights are unknown to her, she puts a lot of emphasis on nuances and so she delighted her audience as Rosalinde “Fledermaus”, Kurfürstin “Der Vogelhändler”(The Bird Seller) and as F. Lehar‘s Giuditta. “Hearts flew out to Assia Davidov”, the Vienna daily Kronen-Zeitung reported.
Thereby another change in her vocal fach was completed. Her voice had developed further, in the direction of Tosca, Manon Lescaut, and Butterfly but also to Turandot, to Wagner’s Senta in “The Flying Dutchman” and Strauss’ Salome.
A person who has such abilities is also open for the song and oratory; of course Assia Davidov did not avoid these challenges and her many evenings of songs and arias presented a wide and interesting repertoire, reaching from Mozart to Verdi, Rossini, Bellini and Tschaikowsky, Rachmaninoff Rimski-Korsakov, Glinka, Sviridov, Metner, Vlasov and Mussorgsky, but also include rarities like Henry Duparc, Rieger, Zeira and contemporary composers. She had guest performances in Germany, France and Great Britain with these programs, and also in the Wiener Konzerthaus, in the Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Staatsoper. In the meantime the Requiems by Mozart, Verdi and Brahms had become part of her repertoire. But the highlight should be Gustav Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, in which she sang under Georg Solti in Israel and Caspar De Roo in Innsbruck. But also other conductors called for her: Gary Bertini, Asher Fish, Dietfried Bernet, Ernst Maerzendorfer, Mark Daver, Alexander Steinitz, Georg Schmöhe, Wolfgang Göhnenwein, Artur Fagen, Walter Haupt, Arend Werkamp,Stanly Sperber, Aaron Charlap, Jevgenij Brazhnik, Andrej Tcistjakov, Marc Soustrot and many others.
In 2006 a new role presented a new challenge: Aida. Europe largest open air stage in St. Margarethen engaged the internationally renowned singer for a series of performances which was followed by a tour through half of Europe as far as Lemberg and South America – with a different cast and conductor. Almost 20 years of opera had not affected Assia Davidov’s voice, so that the Vienna daily Kronen Zeitung could assess: “Assia Davidov’s wonderful Aida shows a wonderful sound of her voice in all registers… her total presence and her artistic commitment present the singer as an interesting, artistic personality.” Of course these words of praise continued throughout the tour. Expressions like “great vocal abilities”, “high musicality” and “master piece” were heard, that she could “move and delight her audience” and that the difficult Nilarie was the “highlight of the entire evening” and that “nothing remained to be wished for”. “Standing ovations at the end”.
In the meantime her Repertoire includes more than 40 parts, among them Abigaille in “Nabuccco”, Elisabetta in “Don Carlos” and Elisabeth in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”, Leonora in La Forza del destino, Tosca in “Tosca” with the number of performances and opera houses increasing continuously. Only a few examples shall be named here: Belgrade, Ljubljana, Prague, Strasbourg, Lyon, Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice, Geneva, Basel, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Nurnberg, Cologne, Lisbon, London, Cordoba, Malaga, Sao Paolo, Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires….
This also brought about interesting partners such as Bo Skovhus, Angelika Kirchschlager, and Michael Schade, Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, Janusz Monarcha, Soile Isokoske, Nancy Gustafson and others…
But the horizon has not been reached yet the path has not been completed. Still waiting are Amelia, Desdemona, and one or two others. And the audience is also waiting……
Stage directors that Assia Davidov has collaborated with:Jonathan Miller, David Alden, Dominique Mentha, Stephen Lawless, Markus Imhoof, Tilman Knabe, Wolfgang Kolneder, Claes Fellbom, Nicholas Muni, Joseph Rochlitz, Francesca Zambello, Robert Herzl and many others.