Released today, this is double celebration of three triplicities: three "Da Ponte" operas (Cosí fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni) and three "opera serie" (Idomeneo, Lucio Silla and La clemenza di Tito). If you're wondering about the "Lady Gaga" reference in the title, watch this short introductory video: the whole video is highly engaging to boot:
Elsa Dreisig is one of the finest of upcoming sungers. By placing one of Mozart's most fearsome arias at the head of her Erato recital (clebverly entitled "Mo3art," with the trhee presumably representing the triplicities - there's also a cross through the "o") , she clearly intends to stake her claim to a crown. Fiordiligi's"Come scoglio" from Così is replete with fearsoe leaps, something which fazes Dreisig not one jot. But listen closer and you are rewarded with yet more - teh cleanliness of her slurs is something many singers could take to heart. We also hear just how spot on the Basel Chamber Orchestra is under the superb opera conductor Louis Langrée.
Here, to complement the Erato dsc, is Dreisig's "Come scoglio" from Salzburg in 2010:
To complement Fiodiligi's famous aria, Dreisig gives is Doraballa's "Smanie implacabile" - less famous, but how wonderfully Dreisig conveys the breathless atmosphere here in her phraisng at the opening.
That makes the perfect bedfellow to the third character form Così, who enters next (via the Dreisig gate): Despina, and her "In uomini, in soldati". Perhaps here it is Langrée and his orchestra that are just that bit more attuned - or perhaps Dreisig's Despina is less of a soubrette than most ...
We move then to Figaro, arguably the most perfect opera ever written (although Wagner Parsifal is a strong contender for the crown also!), an advert for just why we listen to these pieces over and over again and after an entire lifetime's listening only feel we have scratched the surface. The pisce is a miracle, and Driesig and Langrée allow us to feel that sense of greatness. Again, there is a tripilicity of roles: the Countess first, and Dreisig's "Dove sono" is rich and layered:
While Dreisig opts for Susanna's most interior aria "Deh vieni, non tardar":
.. before transforming into a boy for Cherubino's "Voi che sapete," a performance of great freshness. Surprisingly, the "laughing" staccato woodwinds seme a little blunted here, partially but not wholly because of the recording:
It's a long way from Cherubino to Donna Anna and Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni. Anna first: "Non mi dir," including some spectacular slurs:
Elvira's recitative "In quoui eccessi" is incredibly dramatic - we really feel how Mozart allocates different "zones of expreeion" to these two ladies. I do particularly like, in this instance, how Zerlina's "Vedrai, carino" has multiple layers of emotiona nd meaning:
Perhaps we can expand it a little with this famous duet between Zerlina and the Don (here Étienne Dupois), "Là ci darem la mano," from the Opéra Bastille:
The late Clemenza receives pitifully few performances and deserves far more. Idomeneo, while haveing a larger profile in the public eye, deserves more attention. It is the impulsive orchestral beginning to Elettra's "Estinto è Idomeneo?" that draws us straight in:
Dreisig's nimble way with Vitellia's "Non più di fiori" is magnificent - another obbligato here from the basset clarinet. Dreisig's slurs are wonderful, and her low register is far sturdier than most soorpano's (and Mozart really asks for it in this final aria):
As a final bonus (for French speakers, I'm afraid), here's "100 second avec ... Elsa Dreisig," with ths eoprano answering questions picked out of a hat for 100 seconds:
Photo credits Erato/Simon Fowler
I've included a link to the Minkowski Mitridate below, which also feautres Dreisig.