Parlando: The COC Blog

8/19/2010

Another Reason to Look Forward to Aida

Metropolitan Opera regular Sondra Radvanovsky, who will be sharing the title role in Aida with Michele Capalbo at the COC this fall, has been scooping up accolades from all over the world for her stage performances, recitals, and new recital disc of Verdi arias. Some critics believe that she is one of the finest Verdi sopranos working today.

For example, here's Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle on Radvanovsky's Leonora: 

"Even if nothing else happens during the rest of the San Francisco Opera's 2009 fall season, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky has already provided us with at least one extraordinary and indelible musical memory.

It came during the last act of Friday's potent season-opening performance of Verdi's Il Trovatore at the War Memorial Opera House, and even in the context of a generally strong evening, Radvanovsky's account of the aria 'D'amor sull'ali rosee' stood out as a beacon of probing musicality."

And here's Valmont from Parterre Box, writing about her disc of Verdi arias:

"While we do have a few adept Verdi sopranos, the one most promising for 'Legendary' status is Sondra Radvanovsky, whose new album Verdi Arias all but seals her status as a leader in the crowd of Verdi specialists. 

. . . what really excites me about her singing is its uniqueness. I love when you hear a singer and know, after only a few bars, who that special timbre belongs to — think of the list in the first paragraph. That is indeed the definition of  'memorable,' and Ms. Radvanovsky’s voice is memorable to say the least. The earthy, smoky, almost husky middle and lower voice blossom into a powerful and shining upper register with a golden colour over which she has wonderful control."

Anthony Tommasini at the New York Times was also full of praise for her Leonora: 

"Ms. Radvanovsky won an ardent ovation for her Leonora, but her singing may divide Verdi buffs. She gives an intensely expressive and musically honest performance, letting phrases fly with bright, soaring sound and shaping passages with pianissimo tenderness. From her first appearance this vulnerable Leonora looks like a restless young woman full of yearning for her adored Manrico."

You can order her recital disc from Amazon, where 14 out of 16 of the site's reviewers have given her a five-star rating as of this writing—but we'd like to gently nudge you, of course, towards purchasing it from the Opera Shop. She also has a disc of Verdi scenes available with the renowned Russian baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Have any of you seen her sing in person, or listened to her recital CD? If so, what did you think? 

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (5) / permalink

Gale Martin (8/19/2010 11:55:00 AM)
Excellent post! Well documented, too. I appreciate pointing out singers worth seeking out and paying attention to.
Cecily (8/19/2010 12:02:00 PM)
Glad you enjoyed it, Gale! I'm listening to the CD right now and it is really something.
Definitely the Opera (8/19/2010 9:28:00 PM)
Flipping through July issue of Opera magazine, it seems that David McVicar directed Covent Garden's Aida this spring, will be interesting to read the reviews of this production which he wanted to do "without any cliches." What arias are there on Sondra R's CD, by the way?
Peggy Deegan (8/20/2010 8:29:00 AM)
I have been a fan of Sondra's ever since I heard her sing Leonora with the San Diego Opera in 2003. I am so excited about all of her success, and have both of her CD's.
Cecily (8/20/2010 9:10:00 AM)
Definitely the Opera: There are two from Trovatore, two from Forza, two from I vespri siciliani, "O patria mia", "Ernani, Ernani involami", and "Non so le tetre immagini" from Il Corsaro. And yes, I'll be very curious to see how McVicar's Aida is received, and how it will compare with Tim Albery's approach this fall, as I understand he intends to highlight the intimacy of the opera. Peggy: I hope you'll be joining us to see her Aida! She actually lives not far from Toronto.

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001