Former Fairbanks woman nominated for Grammy

Posted: Thursday, January 09, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks' homegrown opera star, Viveca Genaux, has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Genaux was one of five nominated Tuesday for best classical vocal performance.

Contacted Wednesday in Paris, where she is rehearsing ''Il Barbiere di Siviglia,'' (Barber of Seville), Genaux said she is thrilled about her nomination for ''Arias for Farinelli.'' The compact disc includes eight arias originally sung by Farinelli, an 18th century castrato known for his extraordinary vocal range.

A New York Times review noted, ''There's a husky note to her amber voice, coloring it richly, from gutsy low notes to flowing freedom on top.''

''It is my first Grammy nomination, and also my very first solo recording, so it's doubly exciting for me,'' she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in an e-mail response to questions. ''The other nominees in the category include Renee Fleming and Anne Sophie von Otter, so it's really amazing company in which to be included.''

The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will be handed out Feb. 23 in New York.

Genaux said she will probably not be able to attend the ceremony, as she is scheduled to sing with the National Orchestra of Paris in Hong Kong that night.

''But I will certainly be keeping my fingers crossed, as I hope all my friends and family in Fairbanks will be doing as well!''

Genaux, a mezzo soprano, made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1997 in the role of Rosina in ''Il Barbiere di Siviglia.'' She stepped in as a last-minute substitute for an ill singer. She has since performed the role around the world-and will reprise it again next week in Paris, where she is scheduled to begin a series of performances with the Opera Nationale de France.

Genaux, who grew up in Fairbanks and is a 1987 graduate of West Valley High School, sang her first professional opera role in 1994.

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