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Kate Royal has created an ambitious program: songs of love or longing from twentieth century opera and operetta, excluding the obvious choices of Puccini or Strauss, and more than half are in English. She has come up with a gorgeous selection of arias, ranging from the very popular ("Song to the Moon" from Dvorák's Rusalka and "The trees on the Mountain" from Floyd's Susannah) to the very obscure (the rhapsodic "Midsummer Night" from Alwyn's Miss Julie, Rossignol from Messager's Monsieur Beaucaire, and "I have dreamt" from Bernard Hermann's Wuthering Heights). Some of the arias are not infrequently heard in recital, including "Vilja-Lied" from Lehár's Die Lustige Witwe, and it's a pleasure to hear how effective they are in a recital setting. This is especially true of two stunning Britten excerpts, "Embroidery in childhood" from Peter Grimes, and "How beautiful it is" from The Turn of the Screw. Royal's voice is pure and strong, with a silvery sheen, and she brings a wide expressive range to these selections. The quality of the repertoire and the warmth and depth of Royal's interpretations make this an album that should be of interest to any fan of modern opera. The sound is warm and clean, with an excellent sense of presence.
Miss Julie, opera
Midsummer night
Le Rossignol, opera (lyric tale) in 3 acts
The Nightingale's Aria
Troilus and Cressida, opera in 3 acts
At the haunted end of the day
Susannah, music drama in 2 acts
The trees on the mountains
Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114)
Song to the Moon
Peter Grimes, opera, Op. 33
Is the boat in?...Embroidery in childhood
Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta
Vanessa, opera, Op. 32
Do not utter a word
Paul Bunyan, operetta, Op. 17
Tiny's Song
Monsieur Beaucaire, operetta
Turn of the Screw, chamber opera, Op. 54
How beautiful it is
Wuthering Heights, opera
I have dreamt
Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), opera, Op. 12
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  • Seller location: Nelson, Nelson Bays, NZ

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