Friday, December 12, 2014

Juliette Galstian: Artist Portrait

Well, well, my Christmas season sure started on a good note this year. Look what I've got in my stereo already!

That's right, Juliette Galstian has released a a solo recital CD! Many opera fans will have known Juliette Galstian as the dark-voiced title character of Gluck's Iphigenie in Tauride and as Susanna in Paisiello's Nina (that features Cecilia Bartoli) DVDs from Zurich Opera. She was also a convincing Rinaldo at the same house a few years ago before seemingly fell off the face of the earth, or at least from the operatic stages.

I was tempted to report her a missing person since it ought to be a crime for someone that talented to go into hiding at the prime of her career. As it turns out, though, she has been having some fun with a proper teaching job at the Conservatoire de Geneve... and recording a lovely disc in her spare time.

The disc contains 23 very diverse art songs in 7 different languages and styles ranging from Bellini to Strauss, Wolf, Tchaikovsky, Donaudy, Rubinstein, Gounod and even some intriguing Armenian folksong arranged by Vardapet. Heck, she even does a Britten in English!

Her voice has darkened some more (don't ask me how that was possible) with so rich a lower register now that I can't help wishing I could see her on stage as Carmen or even Marina in Boris Godunov... She goes so well singing the Russian songs!

Galstian is accompanied on the piano by Claude Lavoix, and it is a nice partnership of two very musical musicians. I'm afraid the beautiful booklet that comes with the disc doesn't have libretto, but her diction is clear enough to not need one if you understand Italian, French or English. CD is available for purchase through Galstian's website. A good Christmas present for your opera fan friends, if you ask me.

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