by Chris Hale
8 Feb 2009

anna netrebko caroline digonis

   What does a New Yorker do on a bitterly cold but sunny day? The answer for a hundred-plus people on February 5th, 2009 was to wait on line at the newly renovated Metropolitan Opera gift shop to meet the glamorous Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.

anna netrebko caroline digonis   The diva arrived at the shop to long lines of devoted fans to sign her new album, Souvenirs. While her latest album was the primary focus of the signing event, Ms. Netrebko willingly signed all memorabilia that fans brought along. She chatted with her fans, snapped photos, and graciously stayed longer to accommodate her numerous fans. 
    The Russian star soprano had recently returned to the Metropolitan Opera stage on January 26, after a six-month maternity leave. She was well received by the Met Opera audience as she performed successfully the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Her busy upcoming international schedule includes a concert with Dimitri Hvorostovsky, performances as Violetta in La Traviata, Mimi in La Bohème, and Giulietta in I Capuleti e I Montecchi. Visit Anna Netrebko’s website for more details. 

anna netrebko caroline digonis

   Anna Netrebko’s latest cd release, Souvenirs, is a diverse 18–track selection of landmark memories in the gifted singer’s life. The album is available in a beautiful deluxe limited edition that includes a bonus DVD (that features interviews & behind the scene extras), booklet, postcards, and a poster of Ms. Netrebko.  
   The album, released November 2008, features a wide range of pleasing lighter selections performed in nine different languages. There’s a little something for everyone in this album, from a tenderly performed Jewish lullaby (Schlof sche mein Vogele) to lively Zarzuela (“La tarántula é un bicho mú malo”) to works of Richard Strauss. The  “Barcarolle” from “Les Contes D’Hoffmann” is simply a joy to hear with the additional talents of mezzo soprano Elina Garanca and tenor Piotr Beczala. Another highpoint is the aria of Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” performed in Czech in tribute to the accompanying Prague Philharmonia. Her vocal interpretations in “Pie Jesu” with boy soprano Andrew Swait enhance the beauty of this Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. We are also treated to two arias by Rimsky-Korsakov, said to be very popular in Russia, that Ms. Netrebko had to commission arrangements, for the orchestra, since only piano accompaniment existed.
   Ms. Netrebko’s rich voice delivers plenty of mood and energy in each selection making Souvenirs a wonderful intimate collection for her fans. Souvenirs is a delightful album full of a refreshing enthusiasm and style not to mention Netrebko’s amazing talent for mastering languages. 

All Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2009