It's not hard to read the subtext of this tribute to Maria Callas, with which EMI is clearly trying to establish Angela Gheorghiu as the inheritor of Callas's status as the iconic diva of her era.
And she occupies the role with aplomb. Gheorghiu animates these arias with such gusto that her interpretations sometimes border on the eccentric, so enthusiastic is her characterisation; but there's always a repository of effortless technique to draw upon, as in her reading of the "Jewel Song" from Gounod's Faust, or her perfectly-modulated negotiation of "Col sorriso d'innocenza", from Il Pirata. But for emotional impact, the honours must go to her interpretation of "Ebben? ne andrò lontana", from La Wally.
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