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Angela Gheorghiu offers us Eternamente. One sincerely hopes not. Her opening numbers from Cavalleria rusticana are hideously tremulous, not helped by Joseph Calleja’s anemic Turridu. He was recorded in Malta; Gheorghiu was recorded in Prague. It shows. Her Italian songs by Donaudy, Mascheroni and Refice have all had better outings, notably by Claudia Muzio (I know, long dead, but certainly not forgotten). Gioconda’s Suicidio is going to become an unfortunate ‘you must hear this!’ rendition; Gheorghiu’s startlingly explosive chest notes are camp classics. Suddenly, rather too late, she soars into song with some Leoncavallo rarities from La bohème and Zingari, before finishing with a surprisingly passionate duet from Andrea Chénier. But even that ends on a gasp. Let’s be kind and say it was the descending blade of the guillotine. Emmanuel Villaume, sluggish in the pit, pulls the lever.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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