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Beautifully performed and entertaining anthology
on 3 April 2013
Elina Garanca's beautifully performed and entertaining anthology of arias associated with opera's notion of gypsies is varied in style, wide-ranging in terms of repertoire and as authentic as can reasonably be expected of a blonde Latvian born in Riga. The sleeve note adds, a little hopefully perhaps, that's she's married to a man from Gibraltar, suggesting a somewhat closer connection to the Iberian home of most of the arias on this disc. Of course all this geography is beside the point. The point being whether or not the music is well executed, and there is no doubt it is. Garanca has a wonderfully rich mezzo voice which has no difficulty in expressing the range of emotional states demanded by these arias, whether soaring upwards in scornful dismissal or sweeping low in a dark and sexy guttural.
Accompaniment is provided by the expert and versatile orchestra of Italian Radio, the philharmonic choir of Turin, Roberto Alagna, and the guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey, all under the direction of Karel Mark Chichon. Highly recommended.