Puccini, Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, Catalani, Cilea

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bellini,Catalani,Cilea,Donizetti,Puccini,Verdi
LABELS: Teldec
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Bel Sogno
WORKS: Arias
PERFORMER: Cristina Gallardo-Domâs (soprano); Munich Radio Orchestra/Maurizio Barbacini
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-86440-2
The Chilean soprano’s Covent Garden debut last March as Liù in Turandot was widely acclaimed, and this recital confirms her excellence in the Puccinian lyric repertoire. Though she avoids the Chinese slave, her diverse approach to a group of her vocal sisters – Butterfly, Mimì, Manon Lescaut, Angelica and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, plus the similarly constituted Adriana Lecouvreur of Cilea and Catalani’s far-off-gazing Wally – all impress with their fine balance of means to ends.

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The voice in itself is rich in colours, with a broad range – the lower register is warm and resonant, the high notes empowered and stable – while her interpretations are text-based and expressive, rising to genuine passion where required. Her dynamic range is also sensitively employed. Her coloratura skills are clearly limited currently – Violetta’s scales and decorations when contemplating her life of hedonism are distinctly smudgy – but in less florid material she meets every technical demand, and achieves distinctiveness between one character and another. She phrases memorably – especially as Bellini’s lovelorn Giulietta and in the famous aria from Catalani’s La Wally – and is impeccably in tune. Superior accompaniments from the Munich orchestra and Italian conductor; rich and mellow sound. George Hall