If you love Angela Gheorghiu,
you'll love Puccini...

(and vice-versa!)

Yes, in a sense that transcends time, it seems they were made for each other. She was, in her own estimation, born "with tears in her voice" - a quality that makes her supremely equipped to sing the vulnerable but courageous heroines of Giacomo Puccini, opera's master of high drama and sweet melodies.

With this newest recording, Angela Gheorghiu, one of today's foremost opera stars, can claim that, with the exception of Giorgetta in Puccini's opera of jealousy and revenge Il tabarro, she has sung everyone of them (see tracklist below) - with an exceptionally beautifully supple, sweet voice and a passion that, indeed, can bring tears to one's eyes.

EMI Classics #7243 5 57955 0 2
While she has not sung on the opera stage all the roles that make up today's standard Puccini repertoire, this prospect is certainly in sight for the young Romanian soprano who burst into the international scene with a bang only in 1994 when she sang the role of Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) under the baton of the late Sir Georg Solti who, if memory serves us correctly, came out of this conducting experience of his last years with - in his own words - "tears in his eyes."

Thus was a star born and her place in the operatic firmament secured. She has since conquered the hearts of audiences in the world's major opera houses, singing a repertoire that ranges from Mozart to bel canto, but for now the Royal Opera House, where she performs on a regular basis, can be considered to be her artistic home. (She made her debut there as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni in 1992, followed a few months later by a highly acclaimed performance as Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme.)

In 2000-01, Ms Gheorghiu filmed Tosca with her husband, star tenor Roberto Alagna and the Royal Opera House Orchestra, the video and soundtrack recording of which have received critical acclaim. Next year, she will add Tosca to the list of Puccini operas she has sung on stage (La boheme and La rondine) when she performs the demanding role for the first time at the Royal Opera House. It will certainly be a moment to look forward to.

This CD is worth adding to one's Puccini collection - for the music as well as for the de luxe packaging and documention that includes, in three languages, biographies of the composer and the artist, the text of the arias, and brief synopses of the operas that give context to the aria selections. Anton Coppola (uncle of renowned film director Francis Ford Coppola) conducts the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, whose chosen tempi some may find too slow, nevertheless brings a special touch to this Puccini album that could be traced to his tutelage under the composer Franco Alfano whose job it was to complete Puccini's unfinished last opera, Turandot.

Below, a sampling of Puccini, in the style of Angela Gheorgiu, who can legitimately claim the mantle of the legendary sopranos (e.g., Callas, Tebaldi) of another age, after whose professional styles she has partly fashioned her own (click on your choice of media player):
The Tracklist:  
Madama Butterfly
1. Un Bel Di Vedremo (Butterfly)
2. Tu, Tu, Piccolo Iddio (Butterfly)
Manon Lescaut
10. In Quelle Trine Morbide (Manon)
11. Sola, Perduta, Abbandonata (Manon)
3. Addio, Mio Dolce Amor (Fidelia)
4. Nel Villaggio D'Edgar (Fidelia)
Suor Angelica
12. Senza Mamma (Angelica)
La rondine
5. Chi Il Sogno Di Doretta (Magda)
Gianni Schicchi
13. O Mio Babbino Caro (Lauretta)
La boheme
6. Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi (Mimi)
7. Quando Me N'vo (Musetta)
8. Donde Lieta Usci (Mimi)
Le villi
14. Se Come Voi Piccina Io Fossi (Anna)
La fanciulla del West
9. L'amore E Un'altra Cosa...Laggiu Nel Soledad (Minnie)
15. Signore, Ascolta! (Liu)
16. Tu Che Di Gel Sei Cinta (Liu)
17. In Questa Reggia (Turandot)

from Madama Butterfly
Track 1
Un beld di (Butterfly)

from La Boheme
Track 6
Si, Mi chiamano Mimi (Mimi)
from Gianni Schicchi
Track 13
O mio babbino caro (Lauretta)
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Archive of
FanFaire Giveaways:

Angela Gheorghiu's Puccini Album
Mein Herz brennt
Operatica Xmas Classics
Threepenny Opera
Fractured Lines
Vivica Genaux: Arias for Farinelli
Galina Gorchakova: Italian Arias
Susan Graham: C'est ça la vie
Hildegard Behrens/ FIDELIO
Anoushka Shankar: Live at Carnegie Hall
Nacar: Astor Piazzolla
Bride of the Wind: Alma Mahler
Quarteto Gelato's " Neapolitan Cafe"
Bernstein Live! CD Sampler
Rossetti Quartet
Evelyn Glennie's

"Shadow Behind the Iron Sun"

Women Composers & the Men in Their Lives

Boston Symphony Orchestra's
"Cooking with Music"

San Francisco Opera's
"Dead Man Walking





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