Aleksandrs Antonenko

born 26 June 1975 Riga

Picture of Aleksandrs Antonenko
Antonenko was an extremely inconstant singer, with an extremely short but quite impressive heyday. When I first heard him in Otello at the Vienna Staatsoper in 2010, his voice was good, but his technique seemed hopeless; the voice was totally ill-placed, or rather: not placed at all, since he had to find a different placement for almost every note. A few years later, all of a sudden, he became a secure dramatic singer with an enormous, dark voice that he could soften to the occasional piano nonetheless. His singing was never beautiful, but actually impressive; I fondly recall a Cavaradossi in Vienna, a Pollione at the Met, and a Samson at the Opéra Bastille, all between 2013 and 2016. That Met Norma was actually a marvel; both Antonenko and Sondra Radvanovsky were so huge-voiced that the Met (the Met!!) did not amplify them – something all but unheard of at the Met, which has terrible acoustics, and normally, it goes without saying that they amplify everybody. But more than just loud, they both also sang really well... for Antonenko, as I said before, it was a short prime. Perhaps his positively exaggerated self-assurance prevented him from continuing to work on his voice, I don't know. In any case, by the end of the 2010s, his voice was a wreck; he totally bungled new productions of Otello at the Vienna Staatsoper, and of Tosca in Salzburg, and actually had to cancel most performances he was scheduled for. At the time of writing (2021), there's little or no hope that he will ever recover.
Aleksandrs Antonenko sings Norma: In mia man , with Sondra Radvanovsky

Aleksandrs Antonenko sings Nabucco: Io t'amava , with Anaïk Morel and Maria Guleghina
In RA format
I wish to thank Helmut Krautschneider for the recording (Nabucco).

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