Delibes, Donizetti, Bizet, Bellini, Verdi, Saint-Sa‘ns, Puccini and Chap’

COMPOSERS: Bellini,Bizet,Delibes,Donizetti,Puccini and Chap’,Saint-Sa‘ns,Verdi
ALBUM TITLE: The Opera Gala
WORKS: Live from Baden-Baden: arias by Delibes, Donizetti, Bizet, Bellini, Verdi, Saint-Saëns, Puccini and Chapí
PERFORMER: Anna Netrebko (soprano), Elina Garanca (mezzo-soprano), Ramón Vargas (tenor), Ludovic Tézier (baritone); SWR SO, Baden-Baden and Freiburg/Marco Armiliato
CATALOGUE NO: 477 7177
Operatic galas on disc can show the participants on careless form, offering indifferent performances that are greeted by all too ready applause. No sign of that here, with an opening ‘Flower Duet’ from Lakmé whose essential intimacy is conveyed in a nicely blended performance from Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca. Netrebko’s solo item, ‘Casta diva’ from Norma, is not immaculate but it is technically impressive, and done with feeling. Garanca’s ‘Mon coeur s’ouvre’ from Samson and Delilah is a little tepid but at least it’s not overblown.The men are of a similar standard. Vocally, Ludovic Tézier is arguably a touch contained for the emotional largesse of Posa’s death scene from Don Carlos and indeed for the macho Toreador’s Song, but both are commendably without vulgarity. Giving the best overall impression is Ramón Vargas with his melting ‘Una furtiva lagrima’, though again the Luisa Miller aria is one size too big for his lyric tenor. Excellent accompaniments from the Baden-Baden players.