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Ilona Domnich has already featured in these pages as a talent to watch, and this debut recital disc proves an excellent calling card. Her self-penned programme notes (perhaps overly discursive) explain that she chose ‘surrender’ not as a sign of acquiescence, but as something that needs to be faced courageously. Hence her choice of arias, revealing an instrument with gleaming tone and secure technique, which takes her from Linda di Chamounix’s scintillating ‘O luce di quest’anima’ through the anguish of La voix humaine and the world-weary regret of La Rondine’s Magda to the innocence and resolution of Gilda in Rigoletto. The only role that evades her is Massenet’s Manon, where she misses the coquettish allure of the Cours-la-Reine scene. Her Rigoletto is none other than Leo Nucci, virtually Sprechgesang at the bottom of the range, rising to a still thrilling A-flat. Simon Over provides solid support with the youthful Southbank Sinfonia, though the recording is slightly over-reverberant.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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