"Every once in a while I play a little game with my opera mates. I load 5 cd's into my player, all with the same aria but each with a different performer. This time is was "O mio babbino caro" and the performers were: Tebaldi, Fleming, Freni, Te Kanawa, and Gheorghiu. No hints as to the singers were given to my audience, of course. The results - While Kiri was judged to have the most lovely voice, Angela was the unanimous choice due to her ability to infuse more feeling into her beautiful instrument than any of the other divas. I think that is why I never tire of her voice. It is intellegent and beautiful. So I don't get hung up on characterizations of soprano types. I just listen emotionally, if the voice holds me I continue to listen if not I don't. It's that simple. Gheorghiu is a great Soprano because she has the ability to make you want to continue to listen."
Sometimes Flawed, but Always Fabulous...
Brian Board | Metairie, LA United States | 04/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I first heard Angela Gheorghiu's Decca Recording of La Traviata, I thought I would never hear another soprano I liked better. So far that thought has held true.
While this EMI compilation is not entirely spectacular, (ie; Werther and Carmen sit far too low in the register for her voice)one thing remains constant.... her expressiveness. Gheorghiu is probably the most theatrical vocalist in the opera world since Maria Callas. Her instincts and vocal acting are surpassed by none. She conveys the emotions in her singing the way it would be spoken in real life. This is why she excels in Puccini & Verismo. I'm not saying she is perfect. She practices some vocal techniques which are uncommon (and sometimes unpopular), but overall her voice is always supple and in good tone.
If you're looking for technical perfection, listen to Renee Fleming. Her voice is more focused, warmer, and more agile than Gheorghiu's. However, Fleming falls short of Gheorghiu when it comes to dramatic expressiveness. Fleming is affected, producing caricatures of the emotions. Gheorghiu is real. She is an actress, but also a smart singer who remembers that the voice has to remain healthy and beautiful, as well as expressive. With a few exceptions, I think this compilation is great. When the music is right for her voice(Depuis le jour, Vissi d'arte, Doretta's Dream, etc.) she claims the title of Diva to the fullest."
Sound Quality Warning
max | 06/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Warning this CD is protected by EMI's Copy Control. It will not play on a computer without installng additional soft software from the CD. You have no idea what is contained on this software. When played on a normal CD player, the sound quality is significantly degraded with lots of very unpleasant 'crackles' and 'pops.'"
A True Diva
VL | California | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Her interpretation of Casta Diva revealed that Gheorghiu was the true Diva here, sensitive, expressive and yet dignified. She is a wholistic mixture, melting together her talents of beautiful voice, perfect technique and dramatic expression, which not only applies to each song, but often to the phrase or word level. She can convey the emotion of the piece without putting her voice in physical distress. She can also dial in the appropriate amount of "darkness" in her voice for the occasion and dramatic effect.
I do not think she sounded like Callas, whose voice appeared to be stronger and thicker, but less pure and agile than Angela's. Callas always seemed to have some tension in her voice, loud or soft. Gheorghiu can relax or tense up her voice as needed, increasing the dramatic effect, in both her low and higher registers. Finally Angela's lower voice is unmatched in its expressiveness and unstressed purity.
This CD is highly recommended but in order to experience her full artistic talents, including acting, get her DVDs."