V2253. KRASSIMIRA STOYANOVA, w.Pavel Baleff Cond. Münchinger Radio S.O.: Verdi Opera Arias from Aïda, Il Trovatore, Giovanna d'Arco, Ballo, Luisa Miller, La Traviata, Forza, Don Carlos & Otello. (Germany) Orfeo C 885 141, recorded 2013. - 4011790885124
"One of the most renowned Verdi sopranos today is Krassimira Stoyanova, who now presents roles she has either already sung all over the world, with those she is booked to sing shortly. As Desdemona she has moved and enthused audiences and critics alike from Vienna to Barcelona and Chicago and so from OTELLO we naturally find her 'Willow Song' and 'Ave Maria'. In Verdi's operas after Schiller, DON CARLO and LUISA MILLER, Stoyanova made her celebrated débuts as Elisabetta and Luisa Miller at the State Operas of Munich and Vienna respectively. Since then she has become especially known both for her ability to shape a perfect line and for her characterisation of these two women, caught as they are between love and duty. The two Leonoras in TROVATORE and FORZA make more dramatic demands on the voice, and Krassimira Stoyanova is approaching these roles with prudence: she has not yet taken the latter completely into her repertoire. The dates for her Aïda in the eponymous opera and as Amelia in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA have now been fixed, and she can also be heard in excerpts from both roles, as well as Giovanna d'Arco and the dying Violetta Valery, in this new CD, with the Munich Radio Orchestra under Pavel Baleff. One marvels at Krassimira Stoyanova's artistry: unmannered, unostentatious, refined, as she does justice both to the girlishness of Verdi's JOAN OF ARC and to the wrenching farewell offered us from LA TRAVIATA."
“Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, Liù in TURANDOT, Nedda in PAGLIACCI, Micaëla in CARMEN, Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI, Mimì in LA BOHÈME, and Desdemona in OTELLO: for the few sopranos capable of singing such varied music at all, this array of rôles might reasonably represent the span of an entire career. For the remarkable Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, however, this is merely the measure of a dozen years’ work at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Her 2003 performance of the title rôle in Donizetti’s ANNA BOLENA with Opera Orchestra of New York was described in the New York Times as ‘consistent and deeply felt’, and her portrayal of the wronged queen at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2013 revealed that neither the consistency of her vocalism nor the deep feeling of her singing has been at all diminished by the intervening decade. Her uncompromising singing and searing dramatic energy in Covent Garden’s 2012 production of YEVGENY ONEGIN left no doubt that Tchaikovsky’s genius was fired in a very personal way by Tatyana’s innocence, sexual awakening, and ultimate dedication to duty. In Vienna, where she is as much prima donna assoluta as any soprano in the past quarter-century has had any legitimate claim to be at any opera house in the world, she recently sang Dvorák’s RUSALKA with fulsome tone that summoned memories of Gabriela Benacková. Whether singing the title rôle in Gluck’s IPHIGÉNIE EN AULIDE, Rachel in Halévy’s LA JUIVE, Alice Ford in Verdi’s FALSTAFF, or Richard Strauss’ ARIADNE, she finds within her voice the unique sounds that each composer’s music requires. In her quest to seek the inspiration for her performances of such a broad repertory in the scores and her individual responses to them, she is an old-fashioned soprano in the very best sense: she identifies the emotional core of a character and trusts her technique to provide a musical foundation upon which a moving theatrical experience can be built. The nine rôles sampled of Verdi are approached with all the hallmarks of this fascinating singer’s artistry: technical acumen, dramatic poise, and emotional directness. In comparison with singers of past generations, this is not a conventional Verdi soprano voice, but, in comparison with today’s singers, who sings Verdi’s soprano rôles more satisfyingly?
When the fortunes of many of the world’s opera houses rely so heavily upon the operas of Verdi, it seems counterintuitive that the first fourteen years of the 21st Century have been populated by so few singers capable of doing the composer’s soprano heroines justice. Perhaps Verdi’s operas have in recent years become like Shakespeare’s plays: modern audiences acknowledge them as important works of art without truly understanding the qualities that contribute to their greatness. Versatility among modern singers has often produced artists of basic competence but no true individuality or identification with a particular repertory. The versatility that Krassimira Stoyanova has displayed in her international career to date is little short of miraculous, but her singing of Verdi verifies what audiences throughout the world have observed: hers is not the lush voice of a Muzio, Ponselle, Tebaldi, or Arroyo, but it is an instrument of great quality over which she exercises near-perfect control. These technical qualities to her credit, she is an artist who finds in Verdi’s heroines women with whom she connects with personality and passion.”
- Joseph Newsome, CD REVIEW, 29 March, 2014