- Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527: Act I. Madamina, il catalogo è questo
- Eugene Onegin, opera, Op. 24: Act III. Aria. Lyubvi vsye vozrasti pokorni
- Il barbière di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera: Act I. La calunnia è un venticello
- Il barbière di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera: Act I. A un dottor della mia sorte
- Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Act I. La vendetta
- Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Act I. Non più andrai
- Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Act III. Hai già vinta la cause!... Vedrò, mentr'i
- Faust, opera: Act IV. Vous qui faites l'endormie
- Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Act I. Son lo spirito che nega
- Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620: Act I. Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja
- Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620: Act II. Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen
- Falstaff, opera: Act I. Ehi! paggio!...L'onore! Ladri!
- Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63: Act I. Die Frist ist um
Tenors may get more press, but the deep, warm voice of a bass-baritone can be just as spine-tingling, if not more so. Skeptics should take a listen to Jonathan Lemalu, possibly New Zealand's greatest gift to the opera stage since Kiri Te Kanawa. In opera's symbolic world, the low-voiced male is typically either a comic sidekick or a demonic villain, and the youthful Lemalu assumes such divergent roles with gusto. His voice is a natural fit for Mozart and Rossini; as Leporello, Papageno, Figaro, and others, he sings with such vivid expression that it's hard not to picture the comedic antics that would augment his performance onstage. As for the demons, Lemalu effectively contrasts the mocking serenade of Gounod's Méphistophélès with the seriously threatening diablerie of Boito's Mefistofele in back-to-back arias. And reminding us that baritones can have heartfelt romantic emotions too, Lemalu sings Prince Gremin's beautiful aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with delectable elegance. Lemalu sounds so mature in these excerpts that it's hard to believe he's only in his 20s, and it's exciting to imagine the musical future that awaits him: Like Bryn Terfel a decade ago, it's easy to see Lemalu swiftly making the transition from sidekick to star. As a foretaste, he moves into heavier roles at this disc's end. Verdi's Falstaff is a natural follow-up to his other comic roles -- and his "L'onore! Ladri!" is marked by perfectly judged humor. If Wagner's Dutchman is a more ambitious undertaking, this character's long monologue "Die Frist ist um" suggests that Lemalu has precisely the right combination of vocal power and musical sensitivity to become a superb Wagnerian bass-baritone. Fleshed out by strong support from the singer's home-team orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony, this disc is essential for anyone who is keeping their ears open for opera's rising young stars.
|Label:||Emi Europe Generic|