Mirella Freni

Airs D'Operas

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Mirella Freni is an opera singer's opera singer, and on this album, which is a sort of "greatest hits" compilation of lyric soprano solos, she never ceases to amaze. Her rich, clear voice seams to soar easily through classics such as "Dove Sono" from "Le Nozze Di Figaro" and "Sempre Libera" from Verdi's "La Traviata." Half of the album is allotted to Puccini -- a fact which will truly tempt devotees of the romantic era. Casual opera listeners will thrill to the renditions of "Un Bel di Vedremo" and "O Mio Babbino Caro," but the most beautiful track on the entire album may well be the relatively obscure aria from "La Rondine" (#9, "Chi Il Bel Sogno..."). This also is the song that best showcases Freni's vocal technique and dramatic sensibilities. Her voice moves easily from the low, nearly conversational notes of the recitative to the impossibly high sustained passages of the aria. What this album doesn't offer in the way of coluratura pyrotechnics, it makes up for in sheer beauty and power. It is a must-have for any opera student or true aficionado of classical music.

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