5 Early Recordings by Mezzo Elīna Garanča

(Credit: Erato)

Elīna Garanča is one of the most famous singers of the modern opera world. Born on Sept. 16, 1976, the Latvian mezzo has gone from bel canto specialist to a dominant singing actress in the dramatic repertoire.

Known for her vocal prowess and technical perfection (have you ever heard her struggle with any vocal line?), she is also an imaginative actress, every one of her interpretations layered and complex, whether they be the cool and powerful Carmen, or the angst-ridden Sara in “Roberto Devereux.” She is an icon of the modern opera world and one of its most successful and complete artists.

Now imagine a time when she wasn’t quite so well-known. She actually has quite a few recordings from that period, many of which have been long-forgotten.

Arie Favorites 

The Mezzo’s first solo album came in 2002. She performed a number of different arias from such composers as Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti with the Latvian Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Alexandrs Vilumanis. The CD was released by Ondine and gave us a sense of the mezzo’s technical prowess in repertoire that became a major part of her early career (though she has sung some of the roles recorded in recent years).

Bazajet 

Ever imagine Garanča in a baroque opera? Well in 2005, the mezzo appeared on a recording of the Vivaldi opera under Fabio Biondi. She appeared alongside Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, David Daniels, and Patrizia Ciofi.

Norma 

For many years, Garanča was a famed Adalgisa all around the world. But perhaps her touchstone moment in the role came when she sang it alongside none other than Edita Gruberova. Writing about her performance on the recording from 2006, Classics Today noted, “Mezzo Elina Garanča’s Adalgisa is close to world-class. She may not have the emotional openness that makes the character so special, but her tone is resplendent, from the intense top to the warm, round, non-aggressive bottom.”

Il Barbiere di Siviglia 

The Latvian diva starred in her own recording of Rossini’s classic masterpiece in 2008, appearing alongside Lawrence Brownlee and Nathan Gunn. The album is pretty hard to find these days and rather pricey wherever it is available.

Mozart

Garanča has always been a major Mozart interpreter and it is no surprise that she would dedicate an entire album to the composer. She did so in 2006, performing both opera and concert arias alongside the Camerata Salzburg under the direction of Louis Langrée.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

David Salazar
Prior to creating OperaWire, DAVID SALAZAR, (Editor-in-Chief) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he interviewed major opera stars including Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Vittorio Grigolo, Diana Damrau and Rolando Villazon among others. His 2014 interview with opera star Kristine Opolais was cited in a New York Times Review. He also had the opportunity of interviewing numerous Oscar nominees, Golden Globe winners and film industry giants such as Guillermo del Toro, Oscar Isaac and John Leguizamo among others. David holds a Masters in Media Management from Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, he studied abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He also holds a dual bachelor’s from Hofstra University in Film Production and Journalism.

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