Inva Mula: Il Bel Sogno
Inva Mula / Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Ivo Lipanovic
The Albanian-born soprano Inva Mula will open the Paris Opéra’s 2009-10 season in the title role of Gounod’s rarely heard Mireille, a tragic story of farming folk in 19th-century Provence. Two arias from the work feature on this recital alongside favourite extracts from Faust, Thaïs and Manon, demonstrating Mula’s credentials as one of the best ‘French’ sopranos of today (she is Micaëla in the EMI Classics Carmen conducted by Michel Plasson); her achievements in the Italian repertoire are represented by arias from La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Bohème, La Rondine and Gianni Schicchi. After her appearance as Violetta at France’s Orange Festival, Andante wrote that: “The soprano … was a revelation: her Violetta was confident, passionate and utterly convincing … a sharply detailed, nuanced portrayal that had real emotional impact ...This dramatic ability, combined with a rare vocal power, lit up the stage”; her Gilda in Barcelona prompted Opera News to judge that: “The delicate Albanian soprano Inva Mula was an almost perfect Gilda. The crystal clarity of her projection and the miraculously sustained soft notes were most effective in Act I. Mula realized a very difficult aspect of Gilda’s character: she managed to show that although Gilda loses her ignorance, she does not lose her innocence. Mula played the progression with great emotional power.” A recent DVD of La bohème caused the BBC Music Magazine to describe her as a “true artist … Inva Mula sings Mimì with melting sensitivity.” (She is Mimì in Paris in Autumn 2009.) The complete EMI recording of La rondine under Antonio Pappano features Mula in the role of the maid Lisette, but she has sung the principal role of Magda in Toulouse and Paris and in this recital performs the character’s first, glorious aria, “Ch’il bel sogno” Inva Mula was born in the Albanian capital, Tirana, the daughter of Avni Mula, famous in Albania as a popular singer and composer. She won competitions in Tirana, Bucharest (the internationally renowned George Enescu Competition) and Barcelona and was also a prizewinner at the first Plácido Domingo Operalia competition in Paris in 1993. In France she has appeared in Bizet’s Carmen and in his rarely heard La Jolie fille de Perth and Ivan IV, BelIini’s I puritani, Puccini’s Turandot, Gounod’s Faust, Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys and Cherubini's Médée. In Italy -- where she collaborated regularly with Riccardo Muti, notably with the company of La Scala, Milan – her appearances have include La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Bohème, Manon, Rigoletto, L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale, Falstaff and Gianni Schicchi At the Vienna State Opera she has starred in La Traviata and Les Contes d’Hoffmann and she has also made regular appearances in Germany and Spain; her US dates have included Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago and the New York Metropolitan and La Traviata has also taken her to London, Toronto and Japan. Mula’s reputation extends beyond the world of opera houses and concert halls: in Luc Besson’s extravagant 1997 science fiction film The Fifth Element she provided the voice for the Diva Plavalaguna – tall, blue-skinned and tentacle-headed, performing part of the Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor and supplying the piping vocalise for ‘The Diva Dance".