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Bravura Diva

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A New Queen Reigns in Bel Canto Singing

    Jennifer Larmore is one of those rare artists whose career seems more pointed toward solid, strong development of the voice and the repertoire than to the glamour that the opera world seduces artists to define. Larmore is a consummate vocalist whose technique and musicality are so solid that she doubtless will be on the performing stages for many years. And here is a sparkling CD of bel canto arias and ensembles that shows her strengths and musical intelligence. Arias by such composers as Sir Michael Costa, Luigi Arditi, Lauro Rossi, and Giovanni Pacini don't exactly ring familiar bells with the general public, but here Larmore gives this fine music the communication it needs to acquaint us with some splendid operas. Larmore is well known for her Rossini roles of the known works of the composer so it is with a bow to her musicality that she offers here arias from the lesser known operas 'Bianca e Falliero' and 'Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra'. She also gives us portions of Mercadante ('Andronico') not readily available on the stage, and while these arias are somewhat obscure Larmore delivers them with a rich, robust vocal color and facile technique that make them important. These arias were the territory of the infamous Pauline Viardot and Maria Malibran who in many ways 'created' bel canto, and like her predecessors Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne, she is up there with the best of them. Various conductors and orchestras are represented on this collection (some from previous recordings of entire operas) and the support from the conductors and other singers with whom she sings ensembles is consistently fine. Jennifer Larmore's time has come and this album is titled appropriately! Grady Harp

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