"Surely I am not the only operatic connoisseur who has waited in vain for a top-of-the-line Italianate soprano to appear on the current vocal scene, only to be disappointed time and time again with squally top registers, nonexistent chest tones, and senses of legato akin to a vegetable steamer. I would love to tell you that our wait is over, but alas and alack, I don't have that pleasure. But, and it is a big but, this singer comes so close - in her finer moments, she reminds me of the young Leontyne Price, both in vocal poise and stylistic choices; in others, the shrill, vibrato-stricken, two-dimensional vocal largesse of Sarah Brightman. What is most disheartening is that this is a major talent, and what is vocally out-of-sync could be fixed quite easily and quickly - though that would require a hiatus of a few months from her emerging international career - not an easy option. When the voice is singing on darker vowels ('oh' and 'oo'), or emerging from them, the voice is simply ravishing with depth of tone, warmth of color, and ease of production - her use of dynamics harkens back to a previous vocal era. However, whenever she finds herself situated within the brighter vowel sounds ('ah' 'ih' 'ee'), she comes off the voice and renders her tone inert, harsh and overtaxed - all chiaro, no scuro! Vocals aside, her approach to the music is stylistically authentic, emotionally moving and viscerally thrilling, though wisdom would encourage her to wait for some of the vocally heftier heroines later in her career. Leontyne's advice to 'Sing on the interest, not on the principal' should be taken to heart by this immensely talented singer."
Beautiful voice, flawed album
M. Tietjen | Syracuse, NY, USA | 04/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have waited for a recital album to come from this young soprano ever since I heard her Angelica in the recent recording of Il Trittico. I was disappointed in the resulting album, however--Gallardo-Domas's voice is large and beautiful, but she doesn't quite have the vocal technique or ability to sing some of these arias. In the verismo pieces, such as the Puccini selections or the Catalani aria, she is quite good, although her "Senza Mamma" was much better in the Trittico recording. In the previous recording, she demonstrated an ability to float a beautiful pianissimo high note, but she seems to have lost a little of that on this album. Her vibrato is uncontrolled and sometimes seems to take over her voice. The Verdi and Bel Canto selections are much worse--the less-than-perfect technique that is permissable in Verismo is unacceptable here. Her coloratura on "Sempre libera" is simply painful to listen to, and why she would choose to record this aria is beyond me."
No need for pessimism
S. Park | Seoul | 04/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"it's surprising to see so many negative reviews here, since I remember GRAMOPHONE magazine gushing about the "sheer pleasure" of reviewing Gallardo-Domas' album, which made me risk the purchase despite a tired old song selection (NOT another "Sempre libera"! NOT another "Un bel di"!). and I was converted. the technical aspects aside (of which I don't know enough to discuss knowledgeably), her singing is so emotional, so heart-on-sleeve, it breathes life into age-old arias. her Violetta is truly overwhelming, and even if one takes into account the differences in taste that might be prejudiced against a voice like hers, she deserves better. I vote 5 stars."
Suen Tsz Ho | 02/02/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I tried with this soprano, I really tried. I wanted so badly to love her, but the truth is this; she is no better than any undergrad student anywhere. At times she sounds like an old lady in a church choir! If she is such an accomplished artist why is she in such bad vocal shape. Don't buy this, you will be mad at yourself!!"
A fine CD for collector
Suen Tsz Ho | Hong Kong China | 07/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cristina Gallardo-Domas has a very beautiful voice and fine technique. though she did not did well in all the works here, but some are outstanding~! for example the "Ecco... Io son l'umile ancella" is flowing and expressive, diction is very clear.
the reason for collect this CD is that she gave many new idea in singing those arias, so that i am pleased when i listen to those 14 famous arias againi in this cd.
to record these famous arias is not easy... since she has to be compared by the people to many opera superstars. i think to compare is good, but we should think of how much new ideas she gave to us (for these arias), and for this i think she did a really good job."