COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky; Wagner; Beethoven; Berlioz; Verdi; Puccini
LABELS: Artists Recording Company
ALBUM TITLE: Ian Storey Sings
PERFORMER: Ian Storey (tenor); Sinfonia Musicisti/Howard Burrell
CATALOGUE NO: ARC01001
Ian Storey first impressed audiences as a Scottish Opera regular, but after studying with Carlo Cossutta, this hefty ex-rugby forward from Herefordshire has built himself a strong dramatic tenor career, especially in Italy. In 2008 his Tristan, under Daniel Barenboim at La Scala’s opening night, was broadcast around the world. After some 50 performances, Tristan remains a signature role, and he is now adding Siegfried; but as this disc demonstrates his range extends well beyond Wagner.
Tchaikovsky’s neurotic anti-hero Hermann in The Queen of Spades gets matters off to a barnstorming, manic start, but Rienzi’s prayer more clearly demonstrates Storey’s plangent, shaded tones and his heroic timbre, as well as the inherent unsteadiness that tends to surface in long-breathed lines. This is least apparent in his Italian roles, especially Calaf and Otello, where he sounds quite at home; ‘Dio mi potevi’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’ conclude excitingly. It rather spoils Florestan’s aria, though, and he makes heavy weather of Aeneas’s passionate Les Troyens solo; his French is no more than adequate. Amfortas, more restrained, comes across much better, as do Tristan and Tannhäuser, where experience and intelligence are evident in his delivery. I felt, though, that Storey could have done with more of a sophisticated accompaniment and recording; Howard Burrell conducts his players with vigour and commitment but no great vision. As it is though, this is a welcome signpost to a fine if not perfect tenor, who is well worth hearing, especially on stage.
Michael Scott Rohan