WORKS: Arias from La traviata, Don Carlos, Il trovatore, Luisa Miller, Simon Boccanegra & Il corsaro
PERFORMER: Barbara Frittoli (soprano); LSO/Colin Davis
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-85823-2
The Italian soprano, now in her early thirties, has been making tentative steps into the Verdian canon up till now, with Leonora in Il trovatore at La Scala at the end of 2000 marking her heaviest live assignment so far. Her forthcoming dates include more Verdi parts than hitherto, including the hefty-cum-florid title role of Luisa Miller. This recital, with the efficient LSO and Colin Davis in attendance (they throw in a couple of purely orchestral items, notably a delicate and long-breathed Traviata Act III Prelude) might be regarded as a sampler of her credentials in this new repertoire.
They leave a mixed impression. Frittoli has a vibrant voice, with solid technical skills at her command, and everything is carefully and musically sung. But Verdi’s diverse heroines – Violetta, Elisabeth in Don Carlos, Medora in Il corsaro – turn out to be vocally identical, and with certain exceptions – Elisabeth’s ‘Tu che le vanità’, Amelia’s cavatina from Simon Boccanegra – the results are unmemorable. A wider range of tone colour and a closer engagement with the text are needed to do full justice to these complex conceptions. George Hall