25 years after her debut recording with Decca Classics, celebrated soprano Angela Gheorghiu releases her solo album Plaisir d’amour on 15 November 2019. The 23-track album features rare and classic songs – all of which have never before been recorded by Gheorghiu – spanning four centuries in classical music.
For this release, Angela Gheorghiu takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of romance across eight countries around the world. Accompanied by her compatriot, pianist Alexandra Dariescu, the recital opens with two Romanian songs and includes such classics as Fauré’s ‘Après un rêve’, Tosti’s ‘Ideale’, Strauss’ ‘Morgen!’ and the Chopin ‘Tristesse’. Gheorghiu heads north to Russia, bringing to life two of Rachmaninoff’s songs, exploring with vocal dexterity the composer’s emotionally spontaneous style of songwriting. Crossing the Atlantic, Gheorghiu leads us through the dense and humid forests of Villa-Lobos’ Brazil before returning to the Spanish mainland for Obradors’s fiery Andalusian flamenco song ‘El Vito’.
The project has been a real passion project for Gheorghiu, and she spoke about presenting a world of love and dreams: ‘I have always enjoyed singing lieder and songs in different languages, because not only are these musical jewels, they are also little universes or complete stories in just a few pages… It is like a competition with yourself, challenging your interpretative force and vocal resistance. I wanted to record the vast repertoire on this disc for the first time with a real concert pianist… [Alexandra Dariescu] is one of the most important young pianists of our time, and her touch, sensibility, force, charisma and personality have conquered me. She is eclectic and full of courage in trying new experiences, just as I am… I hope the public all over the world will like it as much as we are enjoying offering it.’
Gheorghiu’s rise to international stardom began with her debut at London’s Royal Opera House in 1992, when she sang Mimì in La bohème. In the same year, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Vienna State Opera. It was at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden that she first sang her much-acclaimed La Traviata in 1994, when the BBC cleared out its schedules to broadcast the opera. At one rehearsal, the conductor Sir Georg Solti said: ‘I was in tears. I had to go out. The girl is wonderful. She can do everything.’ The performance was also filmed and recorded by Decca. Since then, Gheorghiu has been in constant demand in opera houses and concert halls around the world. Gheorghiu is the winner of five Gramophone Awards, and twice was awarded Female Artist of the Year from the Classic BRITs. In 2018, she received the Victoire d’Honneur in France.
Gheorghiu will embark on European, US and China tour dates throughout 2019 and into 2020. She appears in recital with Alexandra Dariescu at the Barbican on 10 December 2019.
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