Articles

Taken from the Blog HHC (Helping Hand Coalition) "...Havarim, an opera group made up of four gentlemen — Kreshnik ZhabjakuVago OhanyianIouri Viderman, and Izchak Haimov — raised the roof with their performance. Professionally trained and having individually performed at Carnegie Hall, these powerhouses were brought together by Margarita Kagan, an American music producer, who then joined forces with Alexandra Gerson, a Canadian journalist and founder of Jerusalem Lights. It was their first time in Israel, and the experience more than impacted them. As the four men harmonized, their voices felt like a touch from heaven..." Nov. 29, 2019

https://letstravelradio.com/07012018-albania-love/      (Interview)

Review from Opus Alb, April 2017
"... his career takes him many times at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall..."
"Baritone Kreshnik Zhabjaku has attracted the attention of critics who highly appreciates him..."



Review for Elixir of Love, May 2012, Mail Tribune, Oregon
"...Having recently heard the Vienna State Opera's performance of "Elixir," I was prepared to be 
disappointed, given that Vienna had world opera superstars Anna Netrebko and Rolando 
Villazon...
...Not to be outdone, Kreshnik's Belcore acts and sings better than Vienna's..."



Review for Le Nozze di Figaro, May 2010, Grant Pass , Oregon
"...thanks to Southern Oregon University Department of Performing Arts head Noel Koran, who jumped in as artistic director for the company and also directed the production. He called on his long association with professional opera companies to gather an exceptional cast.
It was a treat to hear Albanian-born Kreshnik Zhabjaku in the title role, for instance. Not only is his voice lovely and strong, but his acting skills came to the fore as he played the wily servant of a philandering count. Zhabjaku, who has won many competitions now lives and works in New York."


"...His leading lady, playing Figaro's beloved, Susanna, is Jacquelynne Fontaine. The two seemed like they really were a couple... They were simply a perfect match, both in voice and as actors. You'd think they'd been in love for years..."

By Edith Decker of the Daily Courier - May 13, 2010


Review for Concert May 2009,
Lehman Center for the Arts
After the Caccini-Ave Maria on stage will come the successful baritone Kreshnik Zhabjaku. He performed Rivolgete a Lui lo Sguardo of Mozart. It is a very rare pleasure to see on stage mother and son, Kreshnik singing opera, the sound of enchanting piano, interpreted by his mother, Nermin Daja- Zhabjaku, former professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana….
…A family of artists, families that perform, not only in Albanian stages, but stages of New York and around the world. The voice of the baritone, a manly voice, seemed to come out from the chest of a mythological hero, but his lyricism provides highly emotional effects. Were these musical sounds to lead the public’s hearts in ecstasy, each interpretation was followed with strong applause.Even though his name is Kreshnik, an epic name for a strong individual, and his name is repeated many-many times in songs for weddings or other ceremonies. In homes close to a fire place for brave highlanders, Kreshnik Zhabjaku’s spirit is very lyrical in interpretation , is a voice that remains in memory long.
He established strong ties with the public, connections that could not be separated anymore, in that unforgettable night with the opera world and Albanian opera…..
Extract from http://www.zemrashqiptare.net/article/Reportazh/8559



Piece taken from “Kult” weekly culture magazine nr. 244. Wednesday, 18th of June 2008.

Interview with Maestro Vittorio Parisi on the eve of the new production of “Barber of Seville” at the National Opera House & Ballet of Albania (NOHBA).

“Barber of Seville” A Modern Comeback in NOHBA.
By Milena Selimi

After 17 years, the joy and bliss of Rossini comes back to NOHBA with “Barber of Seville”, this new version featuring the marvelous voices of Vikena Kamenica, Kreshnik Zhabjaku, Francesco Panni, and Eriona Gjyzeli; Vittorio Parisi, conductor;  with the Symphonic Orchestra 
of NOHBA. June 18, 19, 21, 23, and 24, 2008

TIRANA — There's a new “kick” as this classic comes back to the Albanian stage, with theatrical effects, set design, costumes and orchestra all promising a new intensity, and marvelous performances of this beautiful Rossini music, in modern adaptation that departs from  traditional presentations. Baritone Kreshnik Zhabjaku, back from the USA as Figaro, and 
mezzo-soprano Vikena Kamenica as Rosina, are true finds, and the aces of the premiere company.

…Question (MS): It is anticipated that “Barber” will be a hit with mezzo-soprano Vikena 
Kamenica and baritone Kreshnik Zhabjaku, as Rosina and Figaro. How do you see this duo?
Answer (VP): They are the main characters. I know Vikena, since we have worked together 
before in the production of “Magic Flute”. I find she has grown more technically, as an artist whose abilities flourish not only in detailed development of the role, but also in communicating 
that character on stage. While I had not previously worked with Kreshnik, I think he will be a marvelous Figaro. He is a wonderful singer. And apart from his voice I think he has a beautiful stage presence that is perfect for this role. I am very happy to work with them, and the whole NOHBA troupe....



“Metropol” Daily Newspaper, Nr.1446/ Tuesday 24th of June 2008
Interview/review by Blerina Goce.
Title: Kreshnik Zhabjaku
All Around Figaro…

For Kreshnik Zhabjaku, Tirana had completely changed. He came back after almost 11 years abroad, and didn't have time to see much of anything because he has spent every day at the National Opera rehearsing for the new production of “Barber of Seville”. Tomorrow he leaves again for New York, but nevertheless Baritone Zhabjaku promises to come back to Albania 
more often, because “nothing is like home”...

…Compared to her costar, Vikena Kamenica feels comfortable, not simply because of their  many years of close friendship, but because Zhabjaku lends the support of someone who really knows this opera thoroughly and can shape the role with perfection – technically, artistically and emotionally….


As Soloist with The Russian Chamber Arts Society:
"On Monday night, an Albanian baritone showed up a soprano from Siberia. The two singers alternated onstage. With each passing rotation it became clearer that Zhabjaku is a recitalist in his prime.

Zhabjaku rarely sent listeners reaching for lyrics. Whether embodying the debonair Don Juan or expressing profound regret, the baritone kept the crowd engaged. His soothing voice was a conduit for character, and stage presence and subtlety won out at this recital."

Rebecca J. Ritzel - The Washington Post - Nov 26, 2008


As Don Giovanni in Mozart's Don Giovanni:
Don Giovanni - The best production to date from OIH
"As the licentious Don, Kreshnik Zhabjaku has sexiness to spare, and it's easy to see -- and hear -- why so many ladies swoon over him. He leaps over Mozart's beautiful vocal hurtles with lithe agility and palpable masculinity."

Lee Williams and D. L. Groover - Houston Press - March 29, 2007


"Kreshnik Zhabjaku asserts a smooth, forceful voice and presence in the title role. With an appropriately self-satisfied air, he's persuasive serenading or romancing a new flame like Zerlina -- a smooth operator."

Everett Evans - Houston Chronicle - March 24, 2007


As Soloist in Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Bach's Magnificat
(Début with Princeton Pro Musica):   "The Quia Fecit was the first chance to hear Mr. Zhabjaku, who sang with a clean and precise sound."

Nancy Plum - Town Topics, Princeton, Oct 2005

http://www.kreshnikzhabjaku.com/pics/DailyCourierReview-Figaro.pdf

https://www.houstonpress.com/arts/stage-capsule-reviews-6544045

http://www.kreshnikzhabjaku.com/pics/TheDailyCourierReview-ElixirOfLove.pdf

http://msopera.blogspot.com/2007/11/meet-cast-of-la-bohme-back-row-maryann.html#links

https://blog.chron.com/artsinhouston/2007/03/solid-musical-values-carry-opera-in-the-heights-don-giovanni/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112502293.html

https://hhcshalomhouse.wpcomstaging.com/2019/11/27/jerusalem-lights-israel-debut-november-24th

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