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Vittorio Grigolo - The Romantic Hero / Winnipeg Free Press review

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Since first bursting onto the scene with 2006 pop shmaltz album In the Hands of Love, Italian lyric tenor Vittorio Grigolo has morphed from crossover artist to serious opera star, with six albums to date.

The Grammy-nominated singer wears his heart on his sleeve in this ooh-la-la collection of French opera arias, The Romantic Hero. The 12 tracks, featuring lushly scored music by Massenet, Gounod, Bizet, Meyerbeer, Halévy and Offenbach, provide an ideal showcase for Grigolo's dramatic sensibilities. Highlights include his lyrical interpretation of Massenet's Toute mon ¢me est l...Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther), while Bizet's La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetée (Carmen) displays his soaring upper range.

But the pièce de résistance is Gounod's Va! Je T'Ai Pardonné... Nuit D'Hyménée (Romeo et Juliette), with Grigolo joined by Russian soprano Sonya Yoncheva and accompanied by the RAI National Symphony Orchestra led by Evelino Pido.

There are no track timings and the overall, dreamy romantic haze at times becomes too much of a good thing. Still, this latest release by one of Italy's native sons generates enough swoon-worthy moments to quite possibly inspire a few heroic acts of your own. 3 1/2 -Holly Harris