11 May 2007

As Suor Angelica, Barbara Frittoli is absolutely riveting. Her voice, balancing right on the cusp of fraying, struggles through Puccini's music with a fitting mixture of brown earth and polished stone, to form a memorably vivid, human response. As it scales upward, the lachrymose voice opens up tentatively, seeming to falter at every step yet always ending up miraculously on the written note. That kind of tension thrills me like no other. The soprano is finite, but refuses to surrender.