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Gioia!
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia
- Una voce poco fa [5.50]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Le nozze di Figaro
, K.492 - Giunse alfin il momento... Deh vieni non tardar [4.27]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Lucia di Lammermoor
- Regnava nel silenzio [8.35]; L'elisir d'amore - Una parola, Adina [8.37]
Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1889)
Die Fledermaus
- Mein Herr Marquis [3.24]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Gianni Schicchi
- mio babbino caro [2.22]; La Bohème - Quando m'en vo [2.31]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)
I Puritani
- Son vergin vezzosa [3.35]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La traviata
- E strano! - Ah, fors'è lui - Sempre libera [8.27]; Rigoletto - Gualtier Maldè...Caro nome [6.20]
Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819-1872)
Straszny Dwor
(The Haunted Manor) - Do grobu trwac w bezzennym stanie [6.38]
Aleksandra Kurzak (soprano)
Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana/Omer Meir Wellber
rec. details not supplied
DECCA CLASSICS 4782730 [60.31]

Experience Classicsonline


Aleksandra Kurzak first came to notice at Placido Domingo’s Operalia in 2000. She didn’t win but it did bring her a contract at the Hamburg State Opera for 2001. She was also noticed by other influential casting directors. She subsequently made her debut at London’s Royal Opera House in Graham Vick’s 2005 production of Mozart’s early opera Mitridate. There she undertook the high-lying role of Aspasia. Since then she has been back to the house for lyric coloratura roles in Donizetti and Rossini. At the time of writing she has made headlines for the wrong reasons, having sustained a nasty fall during rehearsals for another revival of David McVicar’s ever-popular production of Le Nozze di Figaro. The original performances of this have been seen on terrestrial television and it is available on DVD. In this collection of arias from works she has performed on stage her singing of the act four recitative and aria Giunse alfin il momento... Deh vieni non tardar (tr.2) from that opera is certainly one of the highlights. Her bright and forward voice is flexible, well supported and she uses it with particular graceful phrasing in this excerpt.
 
I would have preferred it if she had chosen a true soprano aria for her Rossini excerpt. I prefer the more supple colouring of a high mezzo such as Joyce Di Donato brings to it as well as more bravura and display (tr.1). Miss Kurzak has excellent interpretive skills alongside her secure singing in Adina’s aria from L’Elisir d’Amore (tr.9). There’s also a welcome fragility as Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani (tr.8). She caresses the phrases quite beautifully in O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (tr.5). I would have liked to hear her in Magda’s Chi il bel sogno rather than Musetta’s Quando m'en vo where more colour would have been welcome (tr.10). She would make an ideal Gilda (tr.7) whilst the act one finale from La Traviata might be too demanding in a big house (tr.6). I would also hope that she will have more to give in a stage performance of Lucia di Lammermoor (tr.3). The sound is somewhat manufactured at times, which makes definitive statements about a singer more difficult than need be. Nonetheless I enjoyed this album, not least for Miss Kurzak’s singing of her compatriot’s Do grobu trwac w bezzennym stanie. This is from The Haunted Manor, Moniuszko’s four act opera premiered in 1865. It’s not a genre I am familiar with in any detail (tr.11).
 
Robert J Farr
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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