Sempre libera – Opera Arias by Donizetti, Gounod, Bellini, Bizet, Delibes, Puccini, Meyerbeer, Offenbach, Messager and Verdi

Reviewed on Tue 18 Aug, 2015

Miah Persson's top notes ring out with beautiful tone and clarity. Exquisitely moving, too, is the aria from Messager's Madame Crysanthèm. She is joined by Katarina Karnéus for the 'Flower Duet' from Delibes's Lakmé and 'Barcarolle' from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, their voices complementing each other excellently. A disc to return to again and again!

This SACD is a joy for the beauty and versatility of Miah Persson’s voice and for its variety of arias. After the jocularity of the opening aria from Donizetti's Don Pasquale (carried off to perfection), the mood changes for the 'Jewel Song' (from Gounod's Faust) and again for two 'Juliet' arias: Gounod’s has a cheerful waltz rhythm and some brief yearning, while Bellini’s boasts excellent dynamics and wonderful legato. In Micaela’s aria Persson's top notes ring out with beautiful tone and clarity and she sings most expressively. Exquisitely moving, too, is the aria from Messager's Madame Crysanthèm. She is joined by Katarina Karnéus for the 'Flower Duet' from Delibes's Lakmé and 'Barcarolle' from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, their voices complementing each other excellently. Then another change of mood for Musetta’s coquettish aria (La Bohème), while the Meyerbeer follows that follows combines vocal agility with golden tone. Title track 'Sempre libera' (La Traviata) is really exciting, and the programme concludes with Puccini's O mio babbino caro' (La Rondine). A disc to return to again and again!
–Ruth Piatkus