Meyerbeer: Grand Opera (Deluxe Packaging)

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Meyerbeer: Grand Opera (Deluxe Packaging)
Diana Damrau (soprano) / Orchestre et Choeur de l'Opéra National de Lyon, Emmanuel Villaume

[ Erato Warner Classics / CD ]

Release Date: Saturday 6 May 2017

Giacomo Meyerbeer, the master of Parisian grand opéra, was hugely successful in his time and a major influence on Verdi and Wagner. His music has fascinated Diana Damrau since her student days. With her brilliant coloratura, lyricism and dramatic power, the soprano rises triumphantly to the vocal and expressive challenges of arias from 10 of his operas, singing in French, Italian and German. Two of the arias receive their world premiere recording with this album. The idea of a Meyerbeer album has been close to Diana Damrau's heart since she first recorded for Erato back in 2006. She became fascinated by the composer's music as a student in Würzburg, when she was invited to perform his cantata Gli amori di Teolinda. "I immersed myself in Meyerbeer's world," she explains, "and was excited by his multifaceted writing for the voice, by his orchestral colours, his theatrical instincts, the powerful and varied way in which he expresses emotion, his splendid melodies and, last but not least, his ability to capture precisely the right 'national style'. If you compare his Italian, German and French works, it is like listening to three different composers."

81 minutes

"Damrau, ably accompanied by Emmanuel Villaume conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of L'Opera National de Lyon, makes as strong a case as could be imagined for re-examining (Meyerbeer's) talents." Daily Herald

"In her 'personal and heartfelt preface' to Grand Opera, Diana Damrau wrote that recording a disc of arias by Giacomo Meyerbeer was an ambition that formed during her studies, when she was discovering the magnificent variety of music available to a young artist with her incredible capabilities... with Grand Opera Diana Damrau makes two wishes come true: her own and that of listeners eager to understand why Giacomo Meyerbeer dominated opera in the Nineteenth Century to an extent rivaled only by Verdi and Wagner." (Voix des Arts)

"The recital was recorded at Opéra National de Lyon. The engineering team has provided good quality sound, withclarity and a satisfying balance between soloist, chorus and orchestra. On this Erato collection Diana Damrau is in remarkable form, and it is hard to imagine Meyerbeer's cause receiving greater advocacy." Music Web May 2017

"Diana Damrau tackles with pretty consistent success all the vocal difficulties Meyerbeer threw at his heroines - and some of his mature works were written for the leading singers of the day. She's assisted by singers taking on the small interjections from secondary characters, and well supported by the fine Lyon orchestra under the skilful baton of Emmanuel Villaume" BBC Music

"We run the gamut from charming simplicity in the German works, Rossinian fireworks in the Italian ones to, well, Meyerbeerian fireworks in the French…perky coloratura, dispatched with cool aplomb by Damrau, is a standard device…there's still plenty of originality, though…[and] the soprano's technique remains unruffled regardless of what challenges are thrown her way…the Lyon Opera forces under Emmanuel Villaume offer fluent, lively support" Gramophone

"The surprise of this disc is how much more than "grand opera" Meyerbeer actually has to offer...[Damrau] is adept at portraying a variety of characters and the Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Lyon under Emmanuel Villaume offers stylish support." Financial Times


Mon coeur s'elance et palpite (from Le Prophète)
Robert, toi que j'aime (from Robert le Diable)
Nur in der Damm'rung Stille (from Alimelek, oder die beiden Kalifen)
C'est bien l'air que chaque matin (from L'Etoile du Nord)
La-bas, sous l'arbre noir Fleurs nouvelles (from L'Africaine)
O solinghi recessi...D'una madre disperata (from Il Crociato in Egitto)
Dieu! Comme cette nuit est lente...Ombre légère (from Dinorah)
Oh Schwester, find' ich dich!... Lebe wohl, geliebte Schwester (from Ein Feldlager in Schlesien)
Sulla rupe triste, sola... Ah questo bacio (from Emma di Resburgo)
O beau pays de la Touraine (from Les Huguenots)
Anna, qu'entends-je ? Adieu, mon doux rivage (from L'Africaine)

Watch a trailer via Youtube