Mo­mento Im­mo­bile

BBC Music Magazine - - Opera Reviews -

Arias by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini

Ven­era Gi­madieva (so­prano),

Natalia Brzezi ska (mezzo-so­prano), Al­berto Sousa (tenor); The Hallé/ Gian­luca Mar­cianò

Ru­bi­con RCD1021 77:44 mins

From a char­ac­ter per­spec­tive, fe­male pro­tag­o­nists in bel canto opera

– a style that was pop­u­larised in the 19th cen­tury – had a rot­ten time of it. They were gen­er­ally por­trayed as pas­sion­ate to the point of in­sta­bil­ity, de­sir­able (to men) and un­ob­tain­able. There was no doubt in Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti et al’s minds: Eve was a so­prano. The bel canto hero­ines, there­fore, have some of the most ex­pres­sive, ac­ro­batic lines in the repertory – and it is those that Ven­era Gi­madieva has se­lected for this ‘best of’ col­lec­tion, recorded with The ★allé.

Gi­madieva tack­les the col­oratura with dex­ter­ity, pre­sent­ing char­ac­ter­ful in­ter­pre­ta­tions through­out. In ‘Reg­nava nel silen­zio’ from Donizetti’s Lu­cia di Lam­mer­moor, the Rus­sian so­prano cap­tures the pre­car­i­ous­ness of the epony­mous hero­ine’s po­si­tion, and fore­shad­ows her up­com­ing break from re­al­ity. Mezzo-so­prano Natalia Brzezi ska fea­tures as the maid; re­turn­ing later for ‘As­sia a pièd’un sal­ice’ (Otello, Rossini), along with tenor Al­berto Sousa. Both serve to high­light Gi­madieva’s vo­cal py­rotech­nics, which are at their most ex­u­ber­ant in ‘Ah! Non cre­dea … Ah! non giunge’ (La son­nam­bula, Bellini), where we imag­ine Gi­madieva lost in a hal­lu­ci­na­tory slum­ber.

The ★allé, con­ducted by Gian­luca Mar­cianò, are sym­pa­thetic col­lab­o­ra­tors through­out, up­ping the ante dur­ing an en­joy­able

‘Wil­low Song’. Claire Jack­son PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★★ RECORD­ING ★★★

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