Collection: Miriam Gauci

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COMPOSERS: Puccini and Catalani,Verdi
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Soprano arias from operas by Verdi, Puccini and Catalani
PERFORMER: Miriam GauciBRT Philharmonic Orchestra (Brussels)/Alexander Rahbari
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550606 DDD

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The soprano Miriam Gauci made her debut at La Scala in 1985, and has since sung a wide range of roles from Bellini to Strauss. On the evidence of this recording, made earlier this year in Brussels, she has an attractive lyric soprano voice with a good legato line, and she phrases sensitively. She is heard to better effect in the Puccini arias than in the three by Verdi with which she begins.

Her Elisabeth (Don Carlos), Desdemona (Otello) and Leonora (La forza del destino) sound alike, which is a pity when Verdi went to some trouble to characterise them so positively. In Puccini, Gauci is more successful in such lyrical roles as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Liu (Turandot) and Mimi than as Tosca. But even here she lacks individuality, and although her voice is pleasant, no strong musical personality emerges and she rarely raises the emotional temperature.

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In ‘Pace, pace’ from La forza del destino, she might have been praying not for an end to her sufferings through death but for fine weather the next day. She is not helped by some rather sluggish tempi, but perhaps it was she and not the conductor who chose them. Charles Osborne