The concept gives her access to unexpectedly diverse repertoire. Several hits from Carmenappear, of course, including not only the Habaneraeveryone knows, but also Bizet’s rarely heard (and very different) first version of the aria; and there are songs from Falla, Obradors and Montsalvatge.

But the gypsy angle also allows for surprises like I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Hallsfrom Balfe’s Bohemian Girl, Lehár’s Hör ich Zymbalklänge (Zigeunerliebe)and even the Old Woman’s Tangofrom Bernstein’s Candide. Across this broad range of language and musical styles, Garanca’s voice is voluptuous and velvety as ever, as she revels in the sensual possibilities of tangos, habaneras and the odd csardas. Limpid, legato beauty abounds, and yet, as the disc progresses, Garanca’s arias seem to start to melt into one another.

Perhaps it’s that Spanish sun, or perhaps the urge to unify so many diverse musical strands, but each selection, whatever its origin, is imbued with roughly the same sultry colours. The result, while eminently listenable, and with moments of loveliness, has a certain superficiality to it. Garanca has proven her ability to compel, but in Habanera, seductively as she sways, the glamour mezzo of the hour sounds like she might just...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now