CD/DVD Releases -Week of Jan. 30: Four Divas Set To Storm Stores This Week

By Francisco Salazar

It’s Diva week as three of the most popular sopranos will be releasing new albums and DVDs. One will showcase her second album while another will be debuting her first CD.

Sonya Yoncheva’s Handel

It was only two years ago when Yoncheva impressed in her first album, an homage to Paris. After winning the prestigious Echo Award, it would have been easy to continue en route to an Italian album with very popular arias. However, for her second record on Sony Classical, Yoncheva chose to show a different side of her voice. She chose baroque music, which was a large part of her repertoire when she first started out. The new CD features pieces from Handel’s operas “Alcina,” “Rodelinda,” “Giulio Cesare” and “Rinaldo” among others. It also has works from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.”

Aida Garifullina’s debut 

Decca will finally release Garifullina’s first album after two years of anticipation. The soprano has become one of the most popular rising stars around Europe and has performed numerous leading roles in Italian and French arias. She has also been featured in the Hollywood film “Florence Foster Jenkins” alongside Meryl Streep. For her first album, Garifullina has opted to show another side of her repertoire and has chosen very personal selections from her Russian tongue. The album includes music from Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and folk tunes. Surprisingly it also features the arias “The Bell Song” by Delibes and “Je Veux Vivre” from Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette.” International markets will get the CD before it hits stores in the U.S.

Diana Damrau and Salieri

Before Diana Damrau became an international superstar and sang some of the most popular Bel Canto roles, she concentrated her energies on the music of Salieri and Mozart. Damrau brought a part of that to her first two albums but quickly shifted to the Bel Canto repertoire. Now Erato is releasing Salieri’s “L’Europa Riconosciuta” featuring Damrau at the Teatro alla Scala. The performance was recorded on Opening Night of the company in 2004  and featured an all star cast that included Daniela Barcellona and Desirée Rancatore. The opera was conducted by Riccardo Muti and ballet dancer Robert Bolle also performed. In this performance audiences will be thrilled by Damrau’s perfect coloratura and her impressive High G’s. The DVD will be released first in the U.K before it hits American audiences.

Grace Bumbry’s legacy 

It seems fitting that on Black History Month Deutsche Grammophon will release a box set entitled “The Art of Grace Bumbry.” The box set feature eight CDs and one DVD, including some of Bumbry’s iconic arias and opera recordings.


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