Monday, February 21, 2011

Edita Gruberova Hailed A Success in Barcelona

"Edita, La Regina" read the banner unfurled from the balcony.
(Photo: Antoni Bofill)
"The performance of Donizetti's Anna Bolena was chugging along fitfully, the leading lady definitely showing her age. Then the opera's final scene began, and Edita Gruberova worked her magic. As Anna prepared to meet the executioner's ax at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on Friday night, the 64-year-old Slovakian soprano transformed herself from the slightly frumpy grandmother who had sung with sometimes faltering tone into an ageless diva still capable of a remarkable vocal display. "Ah dolce guidami castel natio" ("Ah, lead me to the dear castle where I was born"), she sang to a mournful, gently descending melody, her mind wandering as she imagined happier days. Full of trills and delicately filigreed
runs, this first section demands pinpoint accuracy, purity of sound and an ability to sustain long lines on a single breath. Gruberova, seated near the bottom of a huge staircase, was astonishing. At one point, as if sinking into despair, she slowly lowered her upper body until her head rested on a higher stair, singing all the while in hushed tones of ethereal beauty." [Source]

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