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The Three Queens (Donizetti)

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents The Three Queens, a program that brings together the finales of Gaetano Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, showcasing three of the most fascinating heroines of opera history. These extraordinary women are interpreted by soprano star Sondra Radvanovsky, who performs them together with an excellent ensemble of soloists and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Donizetti specialist Riccardo Frizza. Singing these three breathtaking roles on one night is an enormous challenge for any soprano, and this live recording captures all the excitement of this exceptional achievement.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious opera houses. Riccardo Frizza is among the most sought-after conductors for nineteenth-century Italian opera, while Sondra Radvanovsky is one of the most in-demand singers of her generation on both sides of the Atlantic. All three make their PENTATONE debut with The Three Queens.

“…This is the finest work I’ve heard Radvanovsky do, not only in the Tudor trilogy, but of her entire gallery of roles. It is evident that she has not only put in the hard work and constant refining to achieve this, but it should be noted that the soprano is 50 here, and the voice is still in its prime, full, unblemished, and actually more secure than ever.

Moreover, this is one of the best performances of Maria’s last half hour on record. Radvanovsky has the true dramatic soprano and grandeur of tone to fill out the Scottish queen’s 3 scenas: the prayer “Deh! Tu di un’umile preghiera—beautifully poignant, with some lines excitingly raised; the penitent “Di un cor che muore,” and most of all the concluding “Ah, se un giorno ritorte,” where the soprano effortlessly unleashes the fullness of her voice, which abets Maria’s mounting urgency with awesome, majestic power.” – Parterre

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Verdi Opera Scenes

Two of opera’s biggest stars, on the crest of solo album triumphs, team up for this long-awaited duet album of Verdi Scenes.

It is high drama and great Verdi, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, widely recognized as “the Verdi baritone of our time” (Los Angeles Times), and Sondra Radvanovsky, the fastest-rising “true Verdi soprano” (Opera News) in international opera today. The electricity is palpable in the emotional duet scenes from Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Simon Boccanegra. Dmitri sings a favorite among his signature arias, “O Carlo, ascolta,” from Don Carlo; and Sondra gives us a memorable glimpse of her Tosca in “Vissi d’arte.” We are treated to delightful Mozart and tender Dvorak. Dmitri’s favorite conductor, Constantine Orbelian, leads the Philharmonia of Russia in masterful fashion.“Opera’s reigning hunk” and “La Rad” team up again in April 2011 to sing Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera, complete with HD telecast.

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Verdi: Arias

Sondra Radvanovsky has been hailed as one of the great Verdi singers of the new generation, and this magnificent debut album from the American soprano demonstrates what all of the excitement is about. As George Loomis puts it, “At a time when genuine Verdi sopranos seem rarer than heldentenors, Sondra Radvanovsky is cause for joy. Her brightly lustrous voice of generous proportion can amply fill out Verdi’s arching phrases and is backed by an interpretive flair that brings the composer’s heroines to life.” Sondra has been called “the ‘Leonora’ of our time” (San Francisco Sentinel), “today’s most exciting Verdian spinto” (Opera Canada), and “a true Verdian, with a big, juicy, vibrato-rich sound” (London Times). “The evening’s stand-out performance came from Sondra Radvanovsky, an impassioned, big-voiced Leonora,” wrote Edward Seckerson in London’s The Independent. “Firstly, it’s a real Verdi colour, plangent, open, with bags of reach. But she’s not all about big notes, this singer (though heaven knows she has them); her way with Verdi’s expressively exacting hairpin dynamics was arresting and affecting in both her big arias.”

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