In our excitement over the debut release from Sondra Radvanovksy, we can’t help but share everything “Radvanovsky Sings Verdi” related! But, we also have a major release coming out next month of Pushkin Romances by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and on top of that we also have a coming album of Sondra and Dmitri performing together! So today we thought we would share a review of Sondra and Dmitri in concert together at Carnegie Hall (the concert was April 1).
Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky has been building her career for years, but has never reached the heights of international stardom reserved for the most elite among singers. I’m guessing that’s all about to change, based on the truly spectacular vocalism she offered in this concert…The first thing you notice about Radvanovsky’s voice is its size: it’s a huge sound, and seems to be produced with absolute freedom throughout a very wide range. From a sonic standpoint, she easily overwhelmed Hvorostovsky’s more lyric voice when singing at top volume. There were phrases within duets when the baritone’s voice disappeared entirely beneath the waves of sound Radvanovsky produced. Still, despite its amplitude, Radvanovsky was able to scale back her sound at will, and demonstrated some truly remarkable diminuendi at the ends of phrases combined with superb breath control. Her opening aria, ‘Ernani, Ernani involami…’ drew admiring applause from the hushed audience as she ascended to high C’s with ease and handily dispatched the roulades of the ensuing cabaletta.
Her Verdi selections were thrilling; she is a true ‘Verdi soprano’, meeting all the requirements for energy, volume, agility, and dynamic shading. Best of all was her encore – ‘Vissi d’arte’ from Puccini’s Tosca, a role in which she is set to debut in Denver very soon. Her sculpting of phrases and breath control left the audience gasping in disbelief and barely able to contain their appreciation until the music ended.
It was clear that the audience didn’t want the evening to end, but after several ‘curtain calls’ and the aforementioned encores, the duo exited the stage for the final time. Luckily for admirers, both singers have recorded collections of Verdi arias on the Delos label. Hvorostovsky’s disc has been available for quite some time, and Radvanovsky’s will be released in the US by the end of April. Additionally, they have recorded a disc of Verdi duets (taped live in Russia) that will also be released later this year. Keep an eye out for Radvanovsky’s solo disc: it’s likely to be required listening for anyone who loves great Verdi singing.