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Customer Review

on 13 August 2013
If this disc is intended to display the new richness and variety in Netrebko's voice then it fails. Unlike another reviewer, I was delighted when I saw the repertoire that is included on the disc since I am a great fan of Verdi's demanding roles for the soprano drammatico d'agilità, represented here by arias from Macbeth, Giovanna d'Arco and I vespri siciliani. Regrettably, I find that Netrebko is 'over-parted' in all of them.

There is nothing new on this disc for Nebtrebko that is welcome: her high notes are sounding forced and the chest register is an unattractive growl. She seems to have lost the ability to float a high legato line and some of the coloratura passages are untidy. Most of this repertoire was done much better thirty or more years ago by Caballé, Deutekom and in the case of Lady Macbeth, Shirley Verrett. The long and beautiful aria from Don Carlo is sung without colour or nobility by Netrebko and comes nowhere near the beauty achieved by Caballé or, in French, by Karita Mattila. And I have a recording of 'D'amor sull'ali rosee' from Il trovatore, made a hundred years ago by Celestina Boninsegna, which is preferable in every respect to Netrebko's version.

It is a mistake made by many singers that they do not know where their strengths lie, and they are driven by ambition or who knows what to tackle a repertoire which is beyond them. That certainly seems to have been the case here. I too am a long-time fan of Netrebko, but I was worried by her performance in the DVD of Donizetti's Anna Bolena, where she is outshone by Garanca. I'm afraid those worries are confirmed by this latest disc.
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