Elīna Garanča’s album – ‘Habanera’ – is full of the summer sounds from Spain! The disc is based around gypsies, with arias from Bizet’s Carmen mixed with various Spanish songs and a few other selections with a gypsy or Spanish flavor.
‘Habanera’ is a fine CD album which shows off the seductive voice of Elina Garanča to the fulest. The repertoire is a mixture of well-known and virtually unknown songs. You can hear a lot of flamenco influence throughout this disc and the accompaniments vary between full orchestra, small ensemble and guitar.
The Spanish songs by composers such as Emanuel de Falla and Montsalvatge are also particularly enjoyable. Ms. Garanča’s appearance, acting, and singing are particularly well-suited for her temperament. Carmen is one of the most famous operas of all time, and there have been some great Carmen’s in the past, but I’m pleased to say that Garanča is right up there with the best.
She sings with a seductive and alluring tone, and her technique is superb. Tenor Roberto Alagna also makes an excellent Don José for Elina. He seems to enjoy this role, and he sings with both power and refinement.
Here is Ms. Garanča in an exciting video: