Magazine article Gramophone

Von Otter's 2002 Carmen in Glyndebourne's Own Sound

Magazine article Gramophone

Von Otter's 2002 Carmen in Glyndebourne's Own Sound

Article excerpt

Bizet  Carmen Anne Sofie vonOttermez      Carmen MarcusHaddock ten         Don Jose LisaMilne sop              Micaela LaurentNaouri bar        Escamillo MaryHegarty sop          Frasquita Christine Rice mez        Mercedes QuentinHayes bar          Dancaire Colin Judson ten         Remendado Hans Voschezang bar        Morales Jonathan Best bass-bar      Zuniga 

Glyndebourne Chorus; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Philippe Jordan

Glyndebourne (M) (3) GOCD016-02 (3h' * DDD * S/T/t) Recorded live, July & August 2002

Glyndebourne's summer 2002 Carmen was memorable for bringing Swedish mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter away from her habitual Oktavians and other Monteverdi and Handel trouser roles into boisterous, feminine acting with rather different vocal demands. This 'soundtrack', cleanly recorded by the house's famous on-the-spot man John Barnes, appears a decade after a BBC TV transmission (and later an Opus Arte (DVD)-4/03) were made available.

The release allows the listener to focus on the way that von Otter vocalised apart that may not have been thought a natural fit, especially on her selection of vocal colours and taste in what one may call 'roughing up' the voice to achieve credibility as the Andalusian gypsy. He achievement also can be heard in her use of the top of the voice (as bell-like clean as many soprano interpreters), attention to dynamics and use of time and colour in the recitatives (not to mention when speaking). She also works closely with Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan (his UK debut), a maestro already attentive to the ebb and flow of sung drama.

The ladies also have it in the remainder of the casting. Mary Hegarty and Christine Rice are as sparky and accurate a gypsy pair as you'll find since Solti's Norma Burrowes and Jane Berbie (Decca, 9/85), while Lisa Milne's Micaela is an ideal mixture of youth and (for the Act 3aria, which often decides casting choice) vocal weight. …

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