- Antigono, opera: E fra tante tempeste... Se balena
- Il trionfo di Clelia, opera: Tanto avvezza alle sventure
Romanian soprano Teodora Gheorghiu is apparently a friend of, but unrelated to, opera star Angela Gheorghiu, but this release suggests she deserves to be as well known as her compatriot. On this Harmonia Mundi release she chooses a program that few other singers have attempted: a Classical-period equivalent to the collections of virtuoso (or virtuosa) Baroque arias that even big-name singers have essayed. All of the music was composed for Neapolitan-born singer Anna de Amicis, in full Anna-Lucia de Amicis-Buonosolazzi. There are some real finds here, including the Mozartian style and sheer acrobatics of the aria "Sorprender mi vorresti" from the 1773 opera "Romolo ed Ersilia" by Josef Myslivecek, otherwise known largely for his instrumental music. You could choose this album purely for the four selections from the rarely performed "Lucio Silla" by the 16-year-old Mozart, written during the composer's Italian sojourn and delayed until de Amicis arrived in Milan. Gheorghiu has a real feeling for the new freedom in the music of Gluck, the young Mozart, and Nicolò Jommelli, delivering the words naturally and dramatically. In the blistering "E frat tante tempest ... Se balena" by the virtually unknown Pasquale Cafaro, she is equal to some of the most difficult long arias in the Classical repertory. But it is not just in the extremes where Gheorghiu excels: the middle of her range has an uncanny sense of power in reserve, and her unornamented melodic lines are deeply musical. The support Gheorghiu receives from the historical-instrument group Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset is nothing short of ideal, with the smooth yet tough strings complementing her voice beautifully. Sample and enjoy.