Meditation, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca's 2014 release on Deutsche Grammophon, is an album of serene vocal and choral works that express religious feelings with an operatic touch and showcase the Latvian singer's warm and radiant voice. Choosing pieces from the early Baroque era to contemporary works, Garanca presents a soothing program that is consistent in its comforting tone and gentle treatment, though as a purely musical consideration, it tends to flow a bit too evenly and predictably. Insofar as the selections represent the Christian tradition, including settings of the Ave Maria, the Salve Regina, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, and the Regina Coeli, the character of the collection admits little variety, except for the general alternation between penitential and quietly ecstatic moods.
Rossini’s classic take on the “Cinderella” story is a comic opera full of thrilling arias, beautiful melodies and lots of laughs. The Metropolitan’s charming production was revived in 2009 for star mezzo, Elīna Garanča. The mezzo triumphs in the role and dispatches vocal fireworks throughout. She is joined by American tenor Lawrence Brownlee and a cast of bel canto singers.
"…It's a lovely voice, with special lustre at the top (…) Her scale-work and grupetti could be a lesson to many (clear articulation of the most rapid passagework without aspirates or other non-legato devices). She is a singer with already some illustrious achievements to her name and she thoroughly deserves the opportunities of a promotion such as this." ~Grammophone
Elīna Garanča’s personal choice of her greatest tracks, released to coincide with her receiving an Echo Award (6 October) & the publication of her memoirs in December. Ten years ago she made her sensational début at the Salzburg Festival, singing the role of Annio in Mozart’s Clemenza di Tito. Since then Elīna Garanča has become one of the greatest, most sought-after mezzo-sopranos in the world.
In Romantique, Elīna Garanča makes a smashing return to the studio and puts her imprint upon the big Romantic repertory, brilliantly portraying such different heroines as Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc (The Maid of Orléans), Gounod’s Sapho and Saint-Saëns’ Dalila
Elîna Garanča’s supple, seductive mezzo is aflame with the neon hues and rhythmic dash of Romany in excerpts from beguiling Gypsy roles in opera and operetta. Stand alone numbers add to the panache of Habanera.
The young Latvian mezzo Elina Garanca makes her recital debut on the label with a delightful programme of Mozart arias, interweaving five of Mozart’s brilliant and demanding concert arias, including the supremely taxing ‘Ch’io mi scordi di te’ with extracts from La finta giardiniera, La clemenza di Tito and Così fan tutte. Well-known for her engaging stage performances as Dorabella Elina has chosen also to include Fiordiligi’s dazzling ‘Come scoglio’.
Of Rossini’s thirty-nine operas Il barbiere di Siviglia is the only one to have remained in the repertoire since its composition. When the composer met Beethoven in Vienna the great man told Rossini to only compose buffa operas like Il Barbiere. Verdi was also a great admirer of the work as he was of Rossini’s opera seria and particularly his William Tell. Il Barbiere was one of the works Rossini squeezed in during his contract as Musical Director of the Royal Theatres at Naples and where he was supposed to present two new works every year.