Bellini: I Puritani / Gruberova
GRUBEROVA; GORNY; ORFILA; BROS; ÁLVAREZ; HAIDER; SERBAN
The “Queen of Coloratura”, Edita Gruberova, is the undisputed star of this recording of I puritani from the opera house in Barcelona. Her interpretation of Bellini’s Elvira has certainly become one of her showpieces and her superb technique, her top notes and exquisite pianissimos and her amazing command of coloratura make her the focus of this production. The audience rewarded her with long enthusiastic ovations after her the mad scene in the second act, when her heart breaking rendering of the elegiac “Qui la voce sua soave” and the dazzling coloratura in the fast cabaletta undoubtedly sets her name next to the great Elviras of the 20th century. Arthaus captures on DVD Andrei Serban’s production of Bellini’s gloomy masterpiece. In his staging, Serban maintains an ever-present mood of conflict: the drama is clearly played out in a closed community, under threat, and the bare designs – a linear fort, a single coach in the ice – serve to glorify the voices, the focus of this bel canto work. Opposite the Elvira of Edita Gruberova the Catalan tenor José Bros marked his début in the role of Arturo, one of the most daunting in the tenor bel canto repertoire and his performance was widely praised for his elegant singing of even the very top notes.