Georgian Soprano Disappoints in Solo Recital

Review by: Robert Levine

Artistic Quality: 7

Sound Quality: 9

Nino Machaidze is a lovely lyric/coloratura who has made quite a splash in the operatic swimming pool, beginning in 2008 when she replaced Anna Netrebko in Salzburg’s Roméo et Juliette. A DVD of her Juliette from Verona (2011) was splendid: it presented a beautiful woman with a fine sound, solid technique, and a feel for the music. This new CD is a disappointment.

First of all, while the voice previously heard had a nice edge to it, it has now turned from bright to annoying, and much of the warmth is gone. Her gentle singing still impresses, but any note above a G or sung above mezzo forte tends to glare. She takes the optional E-flat at the end of a fluent “Sempre libera” (better than the previous recit and aria, which are blandly sung), and it’s right-on but unappealing. She ducks the high-D at the close of Thais’ Mirror Aria, the whole of which is sung with so little allure that you wonder if she is sight reading.

The problem becomes clear as the recital goes on: her Musetta has the same personality as her Lauretta. Leila’s aria from Pearl Fishers really only requires charm, and she supplies that, but also in a generalized manner. Ophelia’s Mad Scene from Hamlet is sung with assurance, but it really ought to stun, either for the character’s plight or from the sheer virtuosity of the singing. Here, neither happens. Tenor Atalla Ayan offers a fine sound in the Traviata and Manon (St Sulpice) scenes. Daniele Gatti and his French orchestra offer plenty of support. Let me be clear: This is not a “terrible” or “embarrassing” recital; it’s just that Machaidze had (and has, I hope) great promise, and this collection is very easy to forget.



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Recording Details:

Album Title: Nino Machaidze--Arias & Scenes

Selections from operas by Puccini, Thomas, Massenet, Bizet, & Verdi

  • Sony - 88765447912
  • CD

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