David Hobson

Cinema Paradiso

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Few artists have been more successful than Australian tenor David Hobson in maintaining careers equally balanced between the worlds of classical and popular music. AND he has excelled as more than a singer in both worlds; he has composed opera, rock opera, pop songs, and film soundtracks, and was a finalist on Dancing With the Stars Australia. This album of classic love songs from the movies is a testimony to his versatility. He brings the discipline of his operatic training -- a vibrant tone, long lyrical phrasing, and alert musicality -- to these popular songs, but with a natural and relaxed delivery and an easy spontaneity that frequently elude opera singers when they cross over into this repertoire. While he has sung bel canto roles like Rodolfo (he starred in Baz Luhrman's film of La bohème), his specialties are Mozart and Rossini (as well as Gilbert and Sullivan), and the ringing brightness that's apparent in his singing here are evidence of his appropriateness in roles that are suited to a light, agile voice. The unforced ease of his upper register serves him well in these love songs, and he can soar over the orchestra with gleaming purity and focused intensity. These are all songs in which he seems completely at home, and he sings with depth of feeling. In Se, from Cinema Paradiso, Hobson does take on a thrilling Puccinian fullness. "Moon River," the theme from Love Story, and "The Rose" are notable for his velvety, long-breathed legato. The arrangements are tasteful and imaginative and are performed beautifully by Sinfonia Australis and the choir Cantillation, led by Guy Noble. The sound is clean and resonant, with a good ambience.

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