In Questa Reggia
Arias by Puccini and Verdi
Oksana Dyka (soprano); Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian
Delos DE 3586 67:25 mins
Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka began her operatic career as a principal with the Kyiv Opera in the 2000s and can now regularly be heard at all the world’s major opera houses, in New York, London, Milan, Munich, Paris and beyond. Though Dyka sometimes sings Russian and Czech repertoire, she is first and foremost an Italianist, and this is the music she showcases here, in a disc of well-known Puccini and Verdi arias.
Dyka is a redoubtable Turandot, the voice icy and penetrating, almost overwrought at the top, as fits the role well enough. However, the warmth and tenderness required for Butterfly are in short supply, and Manon Lescaut’s desperate plea from the desert sounds matronly and emotionally detached. Dyka’s Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) is more persuasive, with effective characterisation and expressive dark tones. And it is in the three numbers from Macbeth that she is most impressive: bold, dramatically intense, and vocally all guns blazing.
There is little that is novel here in terms of repertoire, but this disc will appeal to listeners keen to keep tabs on the latest big names in international opera, or to those whose curiosity about Ukrainian culture has been piqued by recent political events.