Drama and du­al­ity in Dreisig’s dy­namic de­but

An­thony Pryer is cer­tain there are great things to come from the tal­ented French-dan­ish so­prano

BBC Music Magazine - - Opera -

Arias by Gounod, Rossini, Puc­cini, Massenet, Steibelt, R Strauss and Mozart

Elsa Dreisig (so­prano); Orches­tra na­tional de Mont­pel­lier Oc­c­i­tanie/michael Schøn­wandt

Erato 9029563413 70:20 mins

The young French-dan­ish singer Elsa Dreisig has been win­ning prizes since 2015 and has de­vel­oped her skills singing roles in the opera houses of Ber­lin, Paris and Zurich. This is her de­but al­bum and it is phe­nom­e­nally good.

First there is the con­cept of jux­ta­pos­ing arias for the same dra­matic char­ac­ter by dif­fer­ent com­posers – Manon (Puc­cini and Massenet), Juli­ette (Steibelt and Gounod), Rosina (Mozart and Rossini), Salome (Massenet and Strauss) – which lifts the col­lec­tion out of the hack­neyed ‘com­pe­ti­tion arias’ cat­e­gory and al­lows dra­matic ex­plo­rations of char­ac­ter. Next, the stylis­tic va­ri­ety en­ables the mar­vel­lous flex­i­bil­ity of the Mont­pel­lier Oc­c­i­tanie orches­tra un­der Michael Schøn­wandt to come to the fore, rang­ing from the res­trained poise of Mozart’s ‘Porgi amor’, to the omi­nous un­der­cur­rents of Gounod’s ‘Dieu! Quel fris­son’, and cul­mi­nat­ing in the full-on sav­age drama of Strauss’s Salome.

Fi­nally, of course, there is Dreisig’s voice, youth­ful yet as­sured, agile yet fluid, and pow­er­ful through­out its en­tire range. In Rossini’s ‘Una voce poco fa’ the low notes are so rich that she could be mis­taken for a mezzo-so­prano, and yet the aria glit­ters with added em­bel­lish­ments, and the high notes are tri­umphant. In the aria from Massenet’s Thaïs her con­trol of dy­nam­ics is im­pres­sively ex­pres­sive, and in the Gounod Faust item she con­veys the dance-like rhythms with great panache. ★ere and there (in Mozart’s ‘Porgi amor’ for ex­am­ple) the voice tends to have a cool, tech­ni­cal ‘gloss’ rather than a deeper feel­ing, but we can cer­tainly ex­pect much more to come from this singer. PER­FOR­MANCE RECORD­ING

Hear ex­tracts from this record­ing and the rest of this month’s choices on the BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine web­site at www.clas­si­cal-mu­sic.com

Dreisig’s voice is pow­er­ful through­out its en­tire range

Lead­ing lady: Elsa Dreisig’s star is ris­ing

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