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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Verdi/Donizetti
LABELS: RCA Victor Red Seal
WORKS: Scenes and arias from Anna Bolena, La traviata, Macbeth, Otello & Il trovatore
PERFORMER: Carol Vaness, Dennis O’NeillBavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra/Roberto Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61828 2
Looking rather like Callas, but without the dark hue of that diva’s voice. Vaness sings gran scena from 19th-century Italian grand opera. Eloquent in cavatina, excelling in the vocal pyrotechnics of cabaletta, she brings a sense of the dramatic to all these doomed heroines: Anna Bolena, Leonora and Desdemona, the defiant Violetta and the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth. Coloratura and the lyrical qualities of her upper register are her strengths; below the stave she can sound pushed, with some notes taking time to focus tuning. Abbado’s tempo for Lady Macbeth is a trot, not a sleep-walk and Desdemona’s canzone needs to linger more in places. The orchestra, particularly the cor anglais player, is good; fine tenorial support by Dennis O’Neill is more offstage than on. Christopher Fifield