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on 27 November 2007
After growing up on a diet of some of the best coloratura sopranos this planet has ever seen, case in point, Sutherland,Caballe, Sills and recordings of Lily pons, i am at a loss to understand why Gheorghiu's management would allow her to venture into this repetoire. Her voice does not have the agility and the technique to do this repetoire justice.

I was given a present of this CD. Just in case if you have any friends that are "into opera" please do not buy this CD for them for christmas. Mine is at this moment under a table leg providing a bit of balance!

This CD was a badly advised route for Angela and she is just not up to the challenge.
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on 27 February 2003
having seen this half of mr and mrs rolex onstage a few times (excuse my sarcasm, i am in no way questioning her artistry though!) i thought that this bel canto excourse would suit her voice rather well. it does indeed in some ways but in others she just sounds out of sorts.
beginning with the good points: she is fantastic in slow and elegic music and i do rate her 'ah! non credea' on one par with callas', maybe even a notch above (pity though that they couldnt bring in a tenor to do elvino's few lines, without which something is missing) - the same goes for her 'casta diva' which is fabulous but here callas remains unsurpassed, cos her voice just sounded like norma. gheorghiu wouldn't be a norma on stage but this aria alone works very well for her. the same goes for the two slow rossini items where she can just let her voice flow and the anna bolena (whose cavatina she recorded previously). the conductor supports her well, so based on what i have said so far it should have been five stars.
but then the downfall starts: her rosina doesn't sound like a minx and her use of chestvoice in that particular aria just doesn't sound right to me - where is the joy, where is the smile? she is a divaish 'vipera' but not much more, there is nothing interesting about her rosina. as lucia she just sounds out of sorts (and i can't pinpoint why!) and the top notes here go astray and sound awkward - the same which happens to the top es in the 'vien diletto' from puritani ... probably the worst notes she has ever comitted to disc so far. yes i know that it's not all about top notes (callas didn't really have them to crown her performances either, but in some ways i sense more character in callas' elvira or lucia than i find with gheorghiu, where i feel aware that she tries, but just tries too hard!) but some top notes which are just hurled out should have better been LEFT OUT ... in some ways less can make more impact.
apart from that criticism i did enjoy parts of the recital (as above) so it's easy to program the less than good parts out when playing it.
my advice is: do listen to the norma, sonnambula (WONDERFUL!), the rossini (apart from the rosina) and the later bit of the anna bolena and you will hear singing of the highest standard - for the rest you will have to take the rough with the smooth! but at least it shows again, that there has never been a perfect singer...
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on 31 December 2013
This cd is worth the money for just track one what more can anyone say about this stupendous singer. Pure magic.
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on 2 July 2001
She is a babe with a pretty voice who excels in some less demanding roles, but based on this CD no one could accuse Angela Gheorghiu of being a bel cantista.
Fact is, she proves here that she "can't belto bel canto".
First of all, some of the selections are simply way too ambitious for the limitations of her voice, even if she had a perfect bel canto technique. Norma is a role she could NEVER essay on stage, Anna Bolena, and Guglielmo Tell would be a big stretch for as light a voice as hers.
The other selections such as Lucia, Puritani, Barbiere and Assedio di Corinto would be possible for a voice of that weight and size but she lacks the technique, security and high notes for them.
A few passages are well done, many others sound unformed, student-like and "barely there" - pitch wavers a bit too much for a recording, where retakes can be done! The arias all blend into one mush of soft, same toned singing with litte differentiation for the character or the scene. The coloratura runs - one of the hallmarks of bel canto style - are sloppy and mushy. A few of the high notes are landed well but others are strident or wobbly and uncertain. Plus, her Italian has an odd accent which is quite obvious in the recitatives.
I am very disappointed with this disk because I had long thought that Gheorghiu could excel on the lyric side of bel canto! But bel canto takes a lot more technique, style and refinement than Angela Gheorghiu can muster.
I think Angela Gheorghiu is losing her way and trying to be all things to all people. She ought to stick with what she does best, and spend more time at the piano with her scores and with a good teacher than she does giving idiotic interviews to the newspapers.
If you want to hear bel canto as it should be sung still with Callas, Caballe, and Sutherland or even the younger recordings of Scotto and Moffo!!!!
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on 24 June 2001
This singing is sensational.I do not understand why the arias are so mutillated ,especialy cadenzas.It is so oldfashened and out of trend.Gheorghiu is the best interpreter far from expectation.Elvira with high "ES", just unbeleaveble.The best is Rosina sung with vulcanic eruptions.I expect the best to be the Assiedo but it fails because of to quickly tempo, which is realy shame for conducter.Lot of cavatinas without cabalettas , why???Why not repetition of cabaletta with variations? D.Aleksic
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on 1 February 2015
My favourite singer
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on 18 November 2012
Exactly as described and I am delighted. Great price and quality and perfect addition to my CD library and willreturn for more!
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on 18 June 2001
Casta Diva is yet another beautyful cd from the wonderful soprano, Angela Gheorghiu. Her Verdi Heroines was a great cd, and Casta Diva is the perfect follow up on that one. Her voice sounds wonderful, and especially in Lucia di Lammermoor all her dramatic sense comes to expression. Singing the high tunes or singing the more dramatic deep tunes, her voice allways has this special "easy sound". Angela Gheorghiu is one of the best soprano singers of our time, if not the best singer. Buy this cd and hear for yourself!
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on 27 December 2001
If you are a romantic and want to be taken into a dreamworld of the beautiful clarity and ease of this soprano's voice, coupled with the glorious music, you are definitely on the right track here for being uplifted and exhilarated.
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