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Fiamma Izzo d’Amico - Opera Arias
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848)
Maria di Rohan:
1. Infausto Imene … Havvi un Dio [6:07]
Don Pasquale:
2. Quel guardo il cavaliere … So anch’io la virtù magica [5:12]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
3. Surta è la notte … Ernani! Ernani, involami [6:03]
La traviata:
4. E’ strano! … Ah, fors’è lui … Sempre libera [8:03]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924)
5. Tu, che di gel sei cinta [2:23]
La rondine:
6. Chi il bel sogno di Doretta [2:57]
Suor Angelica:
7. Senza mamma [4:40]
Madama Butterfly:
8. Un bel di vedremo [4:09]
Manon Lescaut:
9. In quelle trine morbide [2:17]
La Bohème:
10. Donde lieta uscì [3:07]
Jules MASSENET (1842–1912)
11. Allons! Il le faut … Adieu, notre petite table [3:53]
Francesco CILEA (1866–1950)
Adriana Lecouvreur:
12. Ecco, respire appena … Io son l’umile ancella [3:11]
Fiamma Izzo d’Amico (soprano)
Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Alberto Zedda
rec. July 1987, Studio 1, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich
texts and translations in Italian, French, English and German
EMI CLASSICS CDC 7 49233 2 [52:46]


Whatever became of Fiamma Izzo d’Amico? She was born in Rome in 1964 into a family where both her parents as well as three of her four sisters were professionally involved in theatre, music or film. She made her debut in Turin in La Bohème and went on to sing within the next few years in many of the leading opera houses in Europe and the US. Karajan brought her to Salzburg and Berlin. In 1988 she made her debut at La Scala as Mimi, a role she also sang at her MET debut against Domingo. A comet career indeed, but then – silence. Searching the web I found her homepage and while my Italian isn’t exactly fluent it seemed anyway that her further career has been mainly in films. And she certainly has the looks for it. Listening to this disc, which I hadn’t heard before, still made me wonder: did something serious happen to her voice? Judging from this recital, recorded when she was only 23, she had a stunning voice, lyrical and youthful but with a capacity to expand impressively, which she demonstrated in the opening number from Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan. The rest of the arias, with one exception, are lyrical and she is a glittering Norina in Don Pasquale, expressive with words and sporting a good trill. The Ernani aria is light and elegant, the coloratura in the cabaletta tossed off almost casually and with little grace notes added. In the Traviata aria she expresses all the contradictory feelings of Violetta and it’s a pity that EMI couldn’t afford to engage a tenor for Alfredo’s few off-stage phrases.

She is a lyrical Liù with a warmth that should melt the ice in which Turandot is symbolically enclosed. She sings some lovely pianissimos in Doretta’s dream. Suor Angelica’s Senza mamma is inward and her sorrow so palpable. She sings Butterfly’s aria with deep feeling, Manon Lescaut’s In quelle trine morbide is more youthful than one normally encounters in the theatre. That Mimi was a role close to her is obvious from the way she sings the Farewell aria from act 3.

The only French item – the other Manon singing her moving farewell to their little table – is just as enticing as the rest. Finally she moves into heavier repertoire with Adriana Lecouvreur, but this particular aria is primarily lyrical and when it comes to the dramatic outburst she has all the required heft.

So what went wrong? One can only guess, but listening closely: isn’t there occasionally a slight unevenness in her voice production – something that might reveal insufficient basic training. After some hectic years in big opera houses and possibly an aspiration towards heavier roles could this not develop into something more serious? There are also signs of slightly hesitant intonation but at this stage they pass practically unnoticed.

A couple of reviews I found gave contradictory experiences of the singer. Someone who had seen and heard a DVD with Don Carlo thought that she was a lousy actor but an excellent singer – and that in a spinto role – while a review from her debut at the Metropolitan admired her acting but demurred about some aspects of her singing.

Neither of these remarks is of any relevance concerning the present recital, back in the catalogue again after many years. As I have declared it shows the young singer in the best possible light. Had I heard the disc when it was first released almost twenty years ago I would have prophesied a great career for Fiamma Izzo d’Amico.

Göran Forsling 



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