Brilliant Anna Pirozzi As Leonora In Macerata Trovatore
Review by: Robert Levine
Artistic Quality: 8
Sound Quality: 8
Taken live from the stage of the Macerata (Italy) Festival in July and August of 2016, this performance has much to recommend it despite the fact that none of the singers are familiar names. This is the kind of regional performance that the big American companies should be listening to.
Never having heard of the soprano singing Leonora, Anna Pirozzi, I checked Operabase and discovered that she sings all over Europe–plenty at Covent Garden–and that her repertoire is all of the heavy Verdi roles: Abigaille, Lady Macbeth, Aida, Amelia, and Leonora. I wouldn’t bet on her Abigaille or Lady Macbeth, but her performance here is nothing less than spectacular.
The voice is big, with a rock-solid middle register, a steely edge to the high Bs, Cs, and D-flats, and a strong bottom, which avoids chest voice for the most part. But she also can spin long, high pianissimo phrases with a Caballé-like ease. The sound is attractive (though not in the Caballé class), her Convent Scene is a model of soft, legato singing, and her entire fourth act is nothing less than magnificent. And she throws herself into the text.