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.
With gorgeous pieces eliciting every gift Elîna Garanca boasts as a musician, Habanera's instrumental accompaniments – whether RAI’s full orchestra, small ensemble or guitar – add to the sultry atmosphere.
Conductor Karel Mark Chichon contributes taut yet elastic leadership that enhances the charm and variety of Elîna Garanca’s selections.
On this album, the ‘dialects’ derived from Gypsy musical language include Bizet’s Carmen, Chueca’s Tango de la Ermenegilda, Bernstein’s Candide, Lehar’s Hör ich Zymbalklänge and unknown gems like Obradors’ El vito (see the exceptional music video) making for a musically enlightening and delightful program.
Every generation has its “must see” Carmen. In 2010, the list of definitive gypsy seductresses – glittering with names like Baltsa, Bumbry, Calvé, Farrar, and Stevens – is enriched by the addition of Elīna Garanča.
After her triumphant success as Carmen in Riga, London, and Munich, Elīna Garanča, “the Carmen of our day” (News, Austria), has taken the NY Metropolitan Opera by storm in January 2010. This production was filmed live and the 2 DVD Set in 5.1 DTS surround sound will be released simultaneously.
The Wiener Zeitung said it all when it observed of Garanča’s Carmen that “the role and the singer are perfectly matched”.
“Smoochy, smoky, with lambent top notes” The Times, 28th August 2010
“Garanča's voice has been described as "creamy", "silken" and "lustrous" (her chest register is superbly produced) but it also has a surprisingly rounded maturity. What sets her apart, however, is the unteachable ability to send shivers down the spine and make grown men salivate.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2010
“Her voice impresses, though one notices that the sound has brightened of late, and that a newly found ease at the top has come...The shift allows her to interpolate a showy, but thrilling top B into Carmen's Seguidilla, and to tackle De España Vengo, the big soprano number from Luna's El Niño Judío, with abandoned ease.” The Guardian, 9th September 2010 ***
“Garanča may be Lithuanian but her mezzo-soprano has Mediterranean sensuality and warmth.” The Telegraph, 13th September 2010 ****
“Garanča gorgeous voice comes as a fantastic package: it caresses the ear with its velvety warmth, tingles the spine with its ringing bright overtones, and impresses the imagination with its well-supported evenness from top to bottom.” Classic FM Magazine, November 2010 ***
“Garanča's is a medium-scale mezzo approach, elegant and devoid of ugly lurches into chest voice.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 ****