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Elina Garanca - Revive / theguardian review

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Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča is moving from the filigree bel canto roles that have largely defined her starry career into ones requiring a heftier voice – and this album is quite some way of announcing it. "Strong women in moments of weakness" is the concept: it begins with Mascagni's betrayed Santuzza pouring out her unhappiness and ends with Anne Boleyn eyeing the throne in Saint-Saëns's Henri VIII.

Garanča's voice is full and glamorous with an increased weight behind it, but expressive despite its density. For the lower notes, she has a chest voice that she can brandish like a mace, which comes in handy for Massenet's Hérodiade, and, even more, Adriana Lecouvreur's rival the Princess de Bouillon. But as contrast, also from Cilea's opera, she gives a rapt account of Adriana's humble-slave-to-art aria, albeit one capped with an indulgently big crescendo. Conductor Roberto Abbado and his Spanish orchestra offer bright, energetic support.