After a long absence, Angela Gheorghiu returned to Teatro Real. Madrid has an unsuccessful story with Miss Gheorghiu, since she cancelled her participation in a 2003 production of Traviata and in 2010 she sang only in one of a run of three scheduled performances of Simon Boccanegra, alongside Plácido Domingo. Apart from these, she sang in a concert under the late Jesús López-Cobos in 2007.
Gheorghiu is one of the most celebrated sopranos in the last two decades, the historical Traviata under Georg Solti, and gifted with a great voice. After three decades of career, her voice may be past her prime, but it still preserves beauty, a nice pianissimo sound, despite the declining low notes. And last but not the least, her diva manners which sometimes makes us wonder if the show is her voice or even herself.
She sang with the romanian tenor Teodor Ilincai, an accomplished tenor with a big voice and superb high notes, but sometimes a bit raw projection of it.
The orchestra was conducted by Ciprian Teodorascu, who did a good job with the orchestra, despite abusing a bit the forte sound.
The program was not too much bold, consisting in known pieces, and the repertory of the soprano:
-Romanian Rhapsody nº1, by George Enescu
- Highlights from Adriana Lecouvreur, by Francesco Cilea: Io son l'umile Ancella, Ma dunque e vero, L'anima ho stanca
- Yevgeni Onegin's Act III Polonaise, de Tchaikovsky
- Habanera from Carmen, by Bizet
- E lucevan le Stelle,from Tosca, by Puccini
- O soave Fanciulla, from La Bohème, by Puccini
- Hungarian Dance number 5, by Brahms
- Improvviso, from Andrea Chenier
- Un bel dì vedremo, from Madama Butterfly
- Final duet from Andrea Chenier, by Umberto Giordano
- Jazz Suite number 2 by Shostakovich
- Nessun Dorma, from Turandot, Giacomo Puccini
- Ebben, ne andrò lontana, from La Wally by Alfredo Catalani
- Muzika, from Valurile Dunarii, by George Grigoriu
- O mio Babbino Caro (Gheorghiu)
- No puede ser, from La Tabernera del Puerto, by Sorozábal ( Ilincâi)
- Granada, by Agustín Lara, sing on duet.
After a vivid version of the Enescu piece, Miss Gheorghiu started with the Lecouvreur aria, finished with a nice high note, as well as the Boheme duet. Her Habanera was nice, and sung with a pleasant sense of delight. In the Un bel dì she came a bit in late, but her best moment was the aria from La Wally, sung with a beautiful pianissimo singing, and an amazing sensitivity. She offered O mio Babbino caro as encore, also sang as nicely as La Wally. She finished the aria a bit moved, receiving the ovation from the audience. Apart from her singing, her before mentioned diva manners were a show in their way, sometimes amusing.
Mr. Ilincai give a great performance, specially in the second part with an heroic Improvviso, and a spectacular Nessun Dorma, giving powerful final high notes in the Vincerò. But when he announced he would sing the zarzuela romanza No puede ser by Sorozabal, he impressed the audience with an accomplished performance, even more powerful high notes, a well legato sound which finished with an outstanding ovation... stoling the show for a while.
Both singers ended the evening singing Lara's Granada on duet, with the diva acting passionately by shaking a Spanish fan and dancing with the tenor.
This recital has been a rare chance for opera-goers in Madrid to see Ms. Gheorghiu's artistry, and as a result a night to remember, since she hasn't sung in Spain as many times as the audiences would have loved to see her singing her in her prime.
My reviews are not professional and express only my opinions. As a non english native speaker I apologise for any mistake.