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Anna Netrebko: Opera Arias
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Product Description

Here, a year after her sensational Metropolitan debut as Prokofiev's Natasha from War and Peace, comes the debut solo recital album of 30-something soprano Anna Netrebko. She hails from southern Russia, and her emergence from the life of a conservatory student has a touch of the Cinderella tale—the bit, that is, about being discovered by Gergiev mopping floors for the Kirov as a part-time job and making her way into the Kirov's ranks. Later she became a favorite at San Francisco Opera, trying on for size a swath of comic and dramatic roles. Opera Arias parades Netrebko's way through a spectrum of vocal styles and characters. This mesmerizing lyric soprano engages--at times thrillingly grips--the listener with an imagination far greater than the disc's title (couldn't someone have dreamt up a less ridiculously bland handle?), but most significantly leaves an impression that the enterprise here isn't merely about singing. Netrebko's Ilia and Donna Anna are flesh-and-blood characters in real situations, as Mozart wanted them to be. The results are a bit more uneven with her bel canto heroines, where the required balance between Netrebko's emotional identification, so obviously a forte, and the musical phrasing thereof is a delicate one. Her shading of Lucia's mood swings, vocal and emotional, isn't consistently compelling. On the other hand, Netrebko uncovers gemlike facets not just in Gounod's "Jewel Song" but particularly in her stunning, passionately realized and beautifully phrased Manon (even if her trills disappoint). A shame that samples of her Russian repertory are missing here, though Netrebko's "Song to the Moon" from Dvorak's Rusalka concentrates and sets a mood with enviable mastery. Netrebko's musical intelligence and theatrical savvy seem destined to ensure her a magnificent career, so it's no surprise that many fans are already clamoring for more than the tease of an aria collection. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews:

  • Just another soprano
    She's not a true coloratura, at least not a very good one. I have and love her "sempre libera" album. Her mad scene from Lucia (though she slides to the 1st top note) made me involuntarily think the word "magnificent!". But in this album (and on reflection, the other one too), she's just a soprano. A very good one, but she's no Tetrazzini or Mesple or Sutherland or Jo. She belongs in Verdi, not in Donizetti. On the other hand, if all you want is good straight singing (Rosa Ponselle), and don't care about the ornamentation and pyrotechnics, you will probably like this album. I was disappointed....more info
  • A Refreshing New Voice in the Russian Vein
    Anna Netrebko is one of the many young singers gathering attention from the opera world. She is graced with physical beauty, acting skills, and a well-schooled voice. She sings beautifully and with intelligence. So what is missing? Perhaps it is the repertoire on this disc, or the miking, or the rush to get this recording on the market. But for all the positives there is a sameness in sound from aria to aria, beautiful as that sound is. There is also a tendency to spread the pitch on the high notes, a neglect of pianissimo, traits not unfamiliar in the Russian Opera Houses. These are not things that cannot change, and from the basic gifts of this young beauty, it would seem that they probably will. She is quite showy! Meanwhile, for an opera arias disc by a lyric soprano, this is a good one....more info
  • Bright Star
    If you like opera, if you like the lyric soprano, if the vocal range of the colortura causes goose bumps to rise, Anna Netrebko is a must. Roberta Peters, Beverly Sills, Anna Moffo, Joan Southerland, Maria Callas, she takes a back seat to none of them,she sits he front seat with the best of them and guess what? She is beautiful too....more info
  • Oozes youthful energy and passion
    As noted in my review on OperaOnline.us, I thought this album was superb. I wrote: "This is one of those rare recordings where not a single title is wasted or out of mood or context with the preceding. Netrebko is an exciting soprano whose voice can fill a room and soothe the proverbial savage beast. She is a pleasure to listen to. Her voice oozes youthful energy and passion, while at the same time never being shrill or uneven. Imagine a roller coaster ride on a cushion of air, and that's the journey you take when listening to Anna Netrebko."...more info
  • Remarkable!
    Perhaps her voice is not as candid as some other sopranos, but her rendition of the score and interpretative expression make her and exquisite hearing pleasure. This recording shows a more matured artist capable of capturing the role dynamics and emotions.

    Yes, her voice is not as lyric as you might expect, and some roles may sound a little big heavy (sometimes maybe bordering verismo), but definitively at stated before hearing her is a gloriuos pleasure, almost as good as looking at her....more info
  • First DGG album--very promising
    Anna Netrebko has rapidly become a first tier star in opera. This album, her first at DGG, illustrates why some rate her so highly; it also illustrates some of the questions that some have raised about her. All in all, though, a very nice CD.

    A few selections illustrate:

    Mozart, Idomeneo, "Quando avran fine omai." She displays a rich and clean voice. There is a very attractive quality to her voice manifest in this work.

    Mozart, Don Giovanni, "Crudele? Ah no, mio bene!...Non mi dir." This is Donna Anna's poignant aria, given her circumstances. Netrebko displays rich tones. This is a well sung cut. "Non mi dir" shows off some agility in her voice.

    Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor. "Ancor non giunse!. . .Regnava nel silenzio. . .Quando rapito in estasi" Something of a disappointment. Coloratura is not her forte (and see her "Sempre Libera" CD for further confirmation). She clearly shows off a rich and lush voice. I think that she displays some characterization here that is compelling. She hits high notes cleanly. But her ornamentation is indifferent, and she appears unable to trill. I know, some say that that is irrelevant. But compare Beverly Sills' version of this work, with almost too many trills extraordinarily well sung and her florid technique, and this version simply pales.

    Bellini, La Sonnambula. "Care compagna. . .Come per me sereno." Again, Netrebko displays a rich voice. She displays an agile voice and the ability to hit the high notes. Her rendition of "come per sereno" is spirited.

    Gounod, Faust. "The Jewel Song." Very smooth singing; animated singing. But the technique does not measure up to Anna Moffo's version--let alone Joan Sutherland's.

    Puccini, La Boheme. "Musetta's Waltz." Yikes! What a version. Brava Netrebko. Her darker voice is very well suited to this. The characterization of Musetta seems on the mark. A wonderful cut.

    All in all, this shows the promise of Netrebko. It also indicates where her strengths are and where she does not do so well (coloratura work). However, this is a very nice introduction to her work and her art.
    ...more info
  • I Adore Anna Netrebko
    Rusalka: "Mesicku na nebli hlubokem" - Dvorak
    La Boheme: "Quando me'n vo' (Musette's Waltz)" - Puccini

    I listen to these two pieces incessantly......I watched her on German TV at the 300th Anniversary of the founding of St Petersburg........she has real presence and a serene and beautiful voice with range and power. I watched her being interviewed on German TV and she has a sparkling personality - if Russia can produce women like this it is going places, but I suspect women like Anna Netrebko are a rarity and so I shall treasure her !...more info

  • Not up to the hype
    I've heard Madam Netrebko live as Violetta in "La Traviata" and bought this CD remembering this amazing performance. Sadly this new disc doesn't live up to my expectations. Netrebko sounds monotone in each piece, her trills (Which she sang perfectly live) are shaky and unstable here plus her timbre just doesn't fit a role like Lucia. I was disappointed by her rather unmoving Amina as well. Sadly I fear that Miss Netrebko, who is a very talented singer, is already falling in the trap Miss Gheorghiu has fallen into. The world is DYING for a new diva. Both Gheorghiu and Netrebko have been called "The new Maria Callas". This is just nonsense. Why not let a young artist develop properly before pushing her up, stressing her to the limit with roles far to hard and dramatic? Hasn't Gallardo Domas' failure of an Aida proven that this is the road to disaster?...more info
  • A feast of surprises, even on familiar tunes
    I'm not a big opera fan -- have listened sporadically for decades. Every once in a while I newly discover a singer, or a crop of them, and that spurs me to rediscover the wonders of the repertoire. Listening to Anna Nebrebko reminds me of the experience I had when Montserrat Caballe burst on the scene, which will date me for the knowledgeable reader (who will also realize I'm 8 or 10 years behind the present wave with the present singer). This CD presents warhorses as well as some repertoire that's both a little more arcane and more challenging, all from the lyrical and/or bel canto world. Although the performances are not perfect, every moment is gorgeous, and not just the singing. It takes me hours to listen to this CD as well as her "Sempre Libera" because each excerpt is some variety of showstopper. I generally prefer another species of soprano voice (Natalie Dessay), even in the repertoire here, but for those who love a dark, dramatic, and most often very agile voice, you can't go wrong with this collection. I dismiss quibbles about her pronunciation in non-Slavic languages; her dramatic sense does not flag, at least for me, and her vowels have a musical value that merely starts with the language. I highly recommend this CD....more info
  • Gimme Natalie Dessay instead.
    Okay, so this is the diva-in-training that's supposed to bring glamour back to opera? Yes, she is beautiful. Shame those hands had to scrub floors; hope she makes it on the cover of Vogue someday. However, she is not the Great New Hope for opera. That voice is not suited for bel canto, or Mozart. She sounds like a new Barbara Frittoli to me. Frittoli, with a dash of Fleming. She has that taffy-pull to her voice, like Fleming, without the heavy portamento and sighing and all those other awful Fleming tricks. The basic color of the voice is interesting, rather dark-hued, but the technique is not quite there, despite the studio producers' best attempts to turbo-charge her high notes.

    Sorry, guys, but for romantic French and Italian bel canto reperatoire, I am sticking with Natalie Dessay!...more info
  • Extraordinary voice
    I am eagerly awaiting delivery of the CD but already have nothing but praise for this extraordinary artist. I had the great pleasure to hear her Lucia in Los Angeles last week and was completely floored! Hers is one of the most exceptional voices performing today. The online album samples show a pleasing grasp of Mozart. I agree with other reviewers who caught the easy darkness in her voice, and I look forward to one day hearing her exploit that. -- Jim Eshelman...more info
  • Fresh soprano blood
    Any budding soprano that doesn't choose the usual warhorses, and opens her debut album with an aria from Mozart's Idomeneo, and turns it into a tour de force, sparkling performance, is worth all the hype. And the best is yet to come- the second track, Non mir dir from Don Giovanni is even better. Not technically, far from it: the way she fudges that trill at the end is astounding, but this Anna is so alive, so achingly beautiful, that it remains one of my favourites among the many versions I have heard over the years. Netrebko has performed Donna Anna on stage - to a great acclaim- and that shows here.
    The rest of the album offers energetic Berlioz, great bits of Lucia - a wonderful mezzo Elina Garanca joins Netrebko on this one- and La sonnambula sung in a way that makes Dionizetti and Bellini palatable for me... The runs are little messy sometimes, but give Netrebko the vocal challenges, the idiotic libretti and a sleeping gown and she can act the hell out of it, even in a studio recording. The spunky Manon makes her mark in the gavotte, the Faust is charming- and devoid of many written trills and such, but it's good clean fun and she is putting some life into that chirpy classic.
    And then, the kinky Rusalka, lovely, strong and devoid of any of that cheese and swooning nonsense that many other singers have splattered on it. I love this opera and Mesicku aria is one of my big favourites, and I have heard countless renditions of it, from a near perfect Benackova to a very cool Karita Mattila to a horrible, slurring and scooping, bottom of the lake Fleming, and Netrebko really gets it right for me. When I was a kid reading all the stories about rusalki, this is how I imagined them- sad, erotic, and with some character. I can understand her Czech too, how often that happens! I guess only someone from our Slavic language pool would understand how well she controls that super rounded Russian oh's from overtaking what she is singing, and even though her diction is funny business overall, the voice more than makes up for it.
    The closing Musetta's Waltz is just about perfect- once again, not too much, not too little, would make me see the tired old Boheme if it played around here and she was in it... Netrebko has some work to do on varying the colors of her lovely, dark voice, and kicking up the diction, but she is shaping to be major economic force in the opera world and from this debut CD it is clear why- the looks are backed by a high wattage talent, acting skills and plain good taste. ...more info
  • Beautiful voice, beautiful girl
    When I heard Anna Netrebko singing Quando Men Vo I was stunned by a voice of stunning purity, great power and sheer beauty. The best Musetta I've heard! Her Song to the moon is stunning and I love her Bel Canto! Anna Netrebko has a very bright future ahead of her. Her Mozart is top class! ...more info
  • Beautifully Captivating!
    Unlike the passion, intimacy, and beautiful tone Netrebko brought to the Russian Album, the Opera Arias miss these wonderful qualities. There's room at the top for a new operatic power couple and the glamorous Netrebko and rising Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon are desperate to seize. I confess that there is an element of conviction in Netrebko's voice, a significant figure in Russia for more than a decade. No sooner had she arrived on the world stage, her "hype" started describing her as the new Callas, which she isn't, and suspect will never be. She may have the temperament of Callas and her petulance, but vocally the comparison just is not there! In the magnificant arias from Mozart to Puccini, Netrebko shows a lack of being able to convey the utmost of subtleties, and injecting every aria with the personality of the character she was assuming. Netrebko crashes through everything, with a glorious voice capable of conveying the the justice of both dramatic and lyric arias, but with minimal vocal characterization. Netrebko is at times very capable of expressing genuine emotion in her singing as heard in the Russian CD with music from her homeland. Netrebko is capable of becoming a most formidable artist if she continues to learn; especially if she works hard on the Italian and French repertoire as she demonstrates in her Russian work, and with the watchful direction of the Marlinsky's Valery Gergiev. In that regard it's encouraging to hear she's preparing for an important Bellini run at the Met with Renata Scotto. Her Russian aria was fine, but her Gounod aria seems to wash away from its inner qualities, not helped by some disturbing French.
    Netrebko is without doubt, an inspiring, extremely talented artist, and with the experience and maturity her voice will command in the future, she will rise to the occasion of becoming one of the world's greatest 21st century singers!
    ...more info
  • Anna is an absolute treasure...........
    Gorgeous. Sexy. Pop-star charisma. And the voice of an angel...a strong one. This album was her debut seven years ago; she's done a bit of developing since then, and would now be well classified as a lyric soprano.

    My favorites here were the excerpts from "Lucia" and "Manon", as well as "Musetta's Waltz". The Mozart really didn't fit. "Traviata" is her forte; ditto "La Boheme" [either soprano part]. I hope she stays away from some of the heavier stuff...Desdemona, Leonore [both], Norma. [Sleep well, Rosa; you're safe].

    Anna is an opera singer with rock-star looks and drawing power...she was a work in progress seven years ago, and, really, still is. Grab this [and her duet disc with Villazon], and see what the fuss is about....more info
  • Well, she's pretty..
    I find Netrebko to be hyped. The basic voice is lovely and beautifully produced, but her bel-canto technique is not up to the standards set by other, superior singers in this much-recorded repertoire. The fact that her Jewel Song lacks trills or anything resembling them is a turnoff for me. And some of her runs and fiorature are uneasy. She studies with Renata Scotto. Couldn't Scotto have done something to improve her facility in this regard? Mme Marchese's absence is more lamented with each passing year! I did not keep this recording and the frantic advertisements for her second cd (that's not make-up, it's war-paint!!) did nothing to make me want that either. Sorry, I can't recommend. Howard Bushnell...more info
  • Anna Netrebko: Opera Arias
    Her voice takes my breath away, I fell in love with her.
    I highly reccomend it....more info