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Diana Damrau becomes unhinged again in I puritani, filmed in Madrid, 2016. She and Ludovic Tézier reunited shortly after their London Lucias for more bel canto battiness and are even better than before.

Damrau displays the same coloratura facility, but sounds fresher and sweeter, and she outlines Elvira’s happiness, breakdown and recovery with dignity. Tézier’s baritone sounds even richer and firmer. Javier Camarena tackles the high-flying tenor role of Arturo as though it was of almost inconsequential difficulty, nailing every top C, C-sharp and D with panache; he wisely eschews the top F on which most tenors die in the attempt. It is truly thrilling singing, even more so in duet with Damrau – they blend incredibly well.

Nicolas Testé is an elegantly voiced Giorgio, and Evelino Pidò provides sensitive support from the pit – somewhat indulgent of his singers perhaps, but why not? Emilio Sagi’s production is monochrome and beautifully lit, blends traditional costumes with an abstract setting, frames his soloists with elegance, and draws detailed performances from them, notably Damrau. It all adds up to a very stylish performance, with vocal thrills galore.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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