After her debut CD I palpiti d’amour (2008), followed by Slavic Opera Arias (2011) and a Verdi album (2014), the Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova now turns her attention to verismo – in the broadest sense of the word. Again and again she lends those roles by Puccini, Mascagni, Cilea (Adriana Lecouvreur), Giordano (Andrea Chénier) and Catalani (La Wally) her inimitably nuanced and finely resonant lirico spinto soprano, a voice which is both flexible and capable of the highest notes while possessing an enchanting sonority and profound middle range.
Be it Puccini’s foolhardy, gem-addicted Manon, who will ultimately die of thirst in the desert – featured here with her great arias from Acts 2 and 4 – or such tender characters as Liu (Turandot), Madame Butterfly – singing the hope-filled aria “Un bel di vedremo” and “Che tua madre” immediately before her suicide – or the nun Sister Angelica, whose unconditional love must ultimately lead to her death: Stoyanova always finds the right tone and finely-nuanced expression for each of these female characters – culminating right at the end in “Vissi d’arte” by Tosca – a final surge of life-affirming passion and simultaneously a resigned farewell to life by a great singer.
This selection of great arias is preceded seamlessly by the great and poignant death-scene aria sung by the protagonist of Pietro Mascagni’s opera Lodoletta, in which a spurned woman imagines her unattainable lover as she lies delirious in the snow – maddened by hunger and cold – before she slips into the hereafter.
As with her two previous albums for the Orfeo label, she is accompanied by the Munich Radio Orchestra under Pavel Baleff with great sensitivity and intensity, thereby giving each of these classic opera scenes their own musical world.