Caruso, Pavarotti, Mario Lanza and many others have all succumbed – with more or less success − to the charms and spells of southern popular songs, filled with sunlight, liveliness and joy of life. Dazzling Latvian mezzo soprano Elīna Garanča takes her shot at this tradition with her first “non-classical” album, released under the Yellow Label of Deutsche Grammophon. Exploring a predominantly masculine repertoire, she masterfully proves music has no barriers and that joy belongs to everyone.
Living in the Canary Islands, Elīna Garanča has selected a few pearls, not necessarily the rarest, from the Spanish repertoire, as well as some works from Italy and Latin America, with bespoke arrangements often prepared by her husband and conductor Karel Mark Chichon, who leads the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria for this performance. The result is a commingling of songs and extracts of zarzuelas and tangos, including Yo Soy Maria by inevitable and dear Astor Piazolla.
The perfect opportunity to experience Elīna Garanča’s irresistible velvety voice and her God-given ability to sing anything with the same enthusiasm. The purity of her vocal line and ability to alter her tone to match the repertoire bestow a new dimension to these popular miniatures, and contribute to slimming, almost abolishing the boundary between opera and popular music. © François Hudry/Qobuz