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Sempre Libera / Eli Kristin Hanssveen

Verdi / Hanssveen / Opera Orchestra
Release Date: 10/08/2013 
Label:  Lawo Classics   Catalog #: 1041   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe VerdiGiacomo PucciniJules MassenetGaetano Donizetti,   ... 
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SEMPRE LIBERA Eli Kristin Hanssveen (sop); John Fiore, cond; Operaorkestret LAWO 1041 (CD:62:13)


Arias from: VERDI La traviata. PUCCINI La rondine. Manon Lescaut. Gianni Schicchi. MASSENET Manon. DONIZETTI La Fille du régiment. Lucia di Lammermoor. Read more class="COMPOSER12"> RAVEL L’Enfant et les sortileges. MOZART Zaïde. Die Zauberflöte. R. STRAUSS Die schweigsame Frau. CHARPENTIER Louise


Norwegian soprano Eli Kristin Hanssveen has spent the first 10 years of her musical career writing and singing pop, rock, and New Age music, perhaps hoping to be the next Cher or Madonna or Adele. There are no comparable one-name opera stars out there; talk of Angela or Renée or Anna would be comprehensible to very few (perhaps Domingo or Pavarotti is as close as we can come). Listening to Hanssveen’s first recorded disc of opera arias, it is clear she fittingly seems at home in that more venerable genre. She brings a lovely, crystal clear coloratura voice to this collection of operatic chestnuts. Her top range is often quite spectacular, with spot-on intonation and the agility to sing the sizzling bel canto runs of Donizetti as well as Mozart’s demanding music for the Queen of the Night. I expect the album’s content was designed to showcase Hanssveen’s versatility: she sings in three languages, Italian, French, and German, and in arias from three different centuries, as well as several different styles. Not only the aria for Mozart’s flutish queen, but Zaïde’s “Ruhe sanft” is sung here, one of the loveliest arias in all opera. From Donizetti we get excerpts from spunky Marie in La Fille du régiment and the more languid singing of Lucia of the infamous Lammermoors. From Verdi comes the spectacular act I tour de force for Violetta in La traviata ; Puccini is represented with his highlight soprano arias from La Rondine and Gianni Schicchi . In the French vein are arias from Massenet, Ravel, and Charpentier, all sung in quite idiomatic French style. Richard Strauss provides the one German selection, an aria from his opera Die schweigsame Frau . Not only is this a quite attractive selection of opera material, it is a collection sung very well. Of course, all classically trained sopranos know these arias, but Hanssveen, although getting a late start, has already sung several of the roles in the opera house. If at this point a few of the arias seem a bit short on coloration, that is acquired with experience and living the roles. It is a bit difficult to tell on a studio recording, but the Norwegian soprano seems to have a large enough voice to manage major venues such as the Met, Covent Garden, and La Scala. Those companies might do well to give a listen.


The packaging by Lawo Classics is a bit of an embarrassment. The double fold cardboard case provides three poses of the highly photogenic blonde singer, and the liner notes, instead of in a booklet, are on the back of a large fold-out poster of the singer suitable for a teenager’s wall. I can hear my wife now: “You’re keeping that because she can sing, or because she looks like that?” Well, both, actually. Lawo is certainly not the first label to exploit the physical assets of a singer; I can recall the same being done for Netrebko, Gheorghiu, Bartoli, Kozená, and Garanca, and more recently for Georgian star soprano Nino Machaidze. If Hanssveen can even come close to matching those ladies in operatic ability the major houses will be giving her a long look … er, listen. Perhaps someday we will know her as just Eli; who can tell? Recommended.


FANFARE: Bill White
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Works on This Recording

1. La traviata: E strano! E strano! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
2. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
3. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
4. La Rondine: Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
5. Manon: Je suis encour tout étourdie by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
6. La fille du régiment: Salut à la France by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
7. La fille du régiment: Par le rang et l'opulence by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
8. La fille du régiment: C'en est donc fait by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
9. L'enfant et les sortilèges: Arrière! Je réchauffe les bons by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1925; France 
10. Zaide, K 344 (334b): Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779-1780; Salzburg, Austria 
11. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Der Hölle Rache by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
12. Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
13. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
14. Lucia di Lammermoor: Quando rapito in estasi by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
15. Linda di Chamounix: Regnava nel silenzio by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
16. Louise: Depuis le jour by Gustave Charpentier
Performer:  Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Fiore
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Operaorkestret
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; France 

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