Sondra Radvanovsky in recital Mexico City, March 24 2012

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josé echenique
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Sondra Radvanovsky in recital Mexico City, March 24 2012

Post by josé echenique » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:42 am

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Brave Sondra Radvanovsky didn´t fail to show up for her Mexico City recital debut even after the terrifying 7.4 earthquake we had last tuesday at noon. Fortunately there was very little damage and no casualties, but the damn thing lasted over a minute that seemed an eternity.
This was the first time I heard her in the flesh, and the first impression as soon as she launched into Beethoven´s Ah! Perfido was that her voice sounded far more impressive than in either of her 2 recordings, the Verdi recital above and a live duets recital with Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Her vibrant and Italianate performance of Ah! Perfido reminded me of Eileen Farrell´s recording: fearless, vocally impeccable even if a little bit too late-XIX Century.
She continued with 2 Verdi songs. She introduced them saying that she is mostly thought of as a Verdi soprano, something she is extremely proud of.
Next came the first operatic aria, Adriana Lecouvreur´s "Io son l´umile ancella". A star-quality performance, opulently and gorgeously sung, she displayed her full armory: exquisite pianissimos and diminuendos, a full, true center and thunder-like high notes. Most impressive. This is definitely the genuine article, the audience went wild.
Then came 4 Rachmaninov songs. Beautifully sung, but they were delivered in the same operatic fashion as the Adriana aria that made them a little relentless.
The first part of the recital came to a close with another big operatic aria: "La Mamma Morta" from Andrea Chenier. Radvanovsky certainly knows how to build momentum.There was nothing trivial or vulgar about her delivery, the words were clearly enunciated and given the sincerity and weight that resulted in a great performance. Once more she demonstrated that she has the guns for this music. It was a larger-than-life performance that reminded many of a time when Callas and Tebaldi were singing this opera.

After a short intermission she continued with 3 Duparc songs. Here she was more successful than in the Rachmaninov songs in scaling down her performance. "Extase" was sung in an exquisite mezza-voce that draw the audience into a private, intimate World, and "Au pays ou se fait la guerre" was very well sung too, it was obvious that she lavished great care in these songs.
Then came the most eagerly awaited aria of the evening: "Pace, pace mio Dio" from La Forza del Destino.
An electrifying performance. The low notes and the mezza voce in the mid section were to die for, and the perfectly placed, devastating high note blew the roof away. The Palace of Fine Arts had not heard anything like this probably since Regine Crespin and Montserrat Caballé sang Forza in the 60´s, that was long before my time, but that was what the elderly people said.
That was a hard act to follow, but Radvanovsky was simply marvelous in 3 Copland songs from Old American Songs. At the River received a sincere, moving performance, every word crystal clear, the voice still sounding fresh and easy. Just marvelous.

The last item in the program was the bolero, or rather polacca, from Verdi`s I Vespri Siciliani. I have heard many a soprano make heavy weather of "Mercé, dilette amiche", but certainly not Radvanovsky, who once more showed phenomenal security from top to bottom, and delivered the difficult aria with brilliance and panache. The audience was hysterical.

The first encore was "O mio babbino caro", well sung but perhaps not the best aria for her, much, much better was Tosca´s "Vissi d´Arte", a great diva performance that made our venerable old theater proud.

This was one of the most memorable recitals we have heard in a long time.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Sondra Radvanovsky in recital Mexico City, March 24 2012

Post by josé echenique » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:32 pm

I forgot to mention that her accompanist was Anthony Manoli and he did a splendid job.
Manoli is also her vocal coach, and judging from her performances he did an even better job in that department.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Sondra Radvanovsky in recital Mexico City, March 24 2012

Post by josé echenique » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:42 pm

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Her MET Trovatore is going to be released on DVD and BluRay in May.

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