Label: Warner Classics / Erato | Album Website
International Release: May 5, 2017
Diana Damrau, Emmanuel Villaume, Orchestre et Choeur de l’Opéra National de Lyon
Giacomo Meyerbeer, the master of Parisian grand opera, 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.”
“This glorious new album finds Diana Damrau in sparkling, top-notch form. The exacting demands that Meyerbeer makes on the soprano voice are shrugged off by a diva in her prime.
Meyerbeer was German (Prussian) by birth, French by adoption, and Italian by formation; a true European …
Damrau has been interested in Meyerbeer’s music since performing in his cantata Gli amori di Teolinda as a student, and the idea for an entire disc dedicated to his arias has been on her mind for a decade.
Erato has treated her nobly with this album, Meyerbeer: Grand Opera, a recording featuring the Lyon National Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume, together with soloists Kate Aldrich, Charles Workman and Laurent Naouri, which gives the excerpts their due importance.”