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Another singer who is aiming to appeal to both classical and popular markets is Nicola Kirsch, whose album is a curate’s egg. Kirsch was classically trained and looked set for a successful career when personal problems derailed her. In middle age she won the TV show Stars in Their Eyes (in 2000), impersonating Callas. Some celebrity followed, and now she is remarketing herself as ‘The Lost Voice of a Generation’: quite a claim. Her soprano is well-produced and generally even-toned. She starts with the cruel test of the Countess’ ‘Porgi Amor’ from Le nozze di Figaro, and succeeds with poise. She then progresses to Juliette’s Waltz Song but is less successful, with cautious runs and bumpy tone. Next, Rossini finds her comfortable, Verdi definitely not, and so it continues. Kirsch’s choice of repertoire does her no favours: the greatest divas can come a cropper with Anna Bolena and Sonnambula. I have no wish to be ungallant, but it is rather late in the day to be recording some of these warhorses. Would it have been better to deploy her attractive but gentle tones in something with more crossover appeal? Some will love this, some will not...

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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