Natalie Dessay showcase

Le miracle d’une voix is a compilation of scenes from various recordings in which Natalie Dessay featured made between 1993 and 2003.  It’s especially interesting in that a couple of pieces feature more than once.  There are three Les oiseaux dans les charmilles; Olymia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann and two Grossmächtigen Prinzessin from Ariadne auf Naxos.  Thrse demonstarte what I have always believed to be Dessay’s greatest strength; her ability to recreate a character to fit in a particular production.  The two Zerbunetta arias illustrate this perfectly.  In the first, a Salzburg production from 2001, Zerbinetta is a depressed, heavy drinking, prostitute who celebrates a kind of deeply sad sisterhood with Ariadne before being dragged off by a very sleazy Russell Braun.  In the second, from the Palais Garnier in 2003, she’s a bubble headed tourist in bikini and wrap who pesters poor Ariadne all around what looks like a Mediterranean building site.  They are completely different characterisations but both highly effective.  The same is true of the three Olympias who range from very conventional doll to inmate in some sort of asylum or home.

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