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New Callas??? Hmmmm...
on 4 December 2007
Another reviewer predicts the New Callas... and some repertoire overlaps...but the New Callas tag is unfair, as - to do justice to Netrebko - she doesn't even attempt to sound like Callas (and some may be glad of that!). What Netrebko offers is the first Netrebko, instead: Her voice is rich, dark, has a slavic gutteral quality at times, and slightly unreliable top notes. She's like a very young and much more florid Vishnevskaya.
HOWEVER, I'm not convinved that she is singing the right repertoire. She can get through the coloratura, but it sounds like a lot of work. I don't think she has quite the right sound for the French repertoire here, either. Certainly, her technique lacks the runs and trills which made Callas, Sutherland and co such astonishing bel canto singers. Above all, when singing more technical music there's little variation from mezzo-forte, and it's quite an intense sound. I prefer more ebb and flo, more shading.
On stage, she gives a fine old performance, and she's a generous and exciting singer. But I do wish she hadn't turned her back on the Russian operas which first brought her fame. Her Russian Album is quite magnificent. This is enjoyable, But I'm not quite in love with her here. On the Russian album, I was. This is missing something. Good but, no, not Callas