Bringing true youth to an archetypal tale of youthful passion, Anna Netrebko as Juliet and Elîna Garanca as Romeo blow the dust off Bellini’s bel canto classic.
Recorded under studio conditions in conjunction with concert performances at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Anna’s and Elîna’s voices match like pearls from one oyster.
Their duets from Lakmé and Norma electrified the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden during an unforgettable evening released by Deutsche Grammophon as Opera Gala. Further collaboration was – and is – clearly in the cards.
“The performance is dominated by Elina Garanca's Romeo; she easily suggests both the swaggering duellist and the lovelorn youth. There are times when her rich, velvety tones sound almost like a soprano, and in the duets with Anna Netrebko's Juliet, the two voices seem naturally to complement each other. The tenor who sings Tebaldo needs to be of equal strength to balance the drama, and Joseph Calleja rises to the challenge... The duet in Act 2, when Tebaldo and Romeo are about to fight but then learn of Juliet's death, find Garanca and Calleja striking sparks off each other; despite the beauty of the final tomb-scene duet, I found this confrontation the highlight of the proceedings.”
1st March 2009
“Giulietta suits Netrebko’s plangent manner and less than dazzling coloratura technique better than the more florid Bellini and Donizetti roles, and she is more feminine and touching than the icily brilliant Edita Gruberova or the brittle, virtuosic Beverly Sills. Garanca’s warm, lustrous mezzo makes her ideal casting for Romeo, and the same goes for the supporting roles...A big success.”
“Garanca is the best reason for cherishing this fine recording. There isn't a lyric mezzo-soprano who can currently hold a candle to the Latvian in this repertoire.”
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