Tipped by an Opera News profile, I spent a pleasant hour hunting down YouTube videos of the Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova. The hunt confirmed that David Shengold in ON rightly praised her staggering technique, and noted that she is building a career as a stylish artist. Listen for yourself.
1. Bits of Ah! fors’e lui … Sempre libera from La Traviata. (Very strange filming, seems like a pops concert?) But spot on, affecting singing.
2. “Regnava nel silenzio… Quando, rapito in estasi” from Lucia di Lammermoor (again chunks of it, in a performance at WQXR). It’s a coloratura showpiece, and she nails that, but she has found some inward character too (and high notes for days.)
3. Finally, the Queen of the Night’s Vengance Aria. This piece usually comes off as party trick to me–notorious for its difficulty, maybe better known for its ring tone appearance than its place in the opera. And of course, boasting the highest note generally required of an operatic soprano (F above high C). Although that has been topped this season at the Met. Generally people can sing it or they can’t, and many who can don’t really seem to be able to do much else. She can! Even the La Scala audience agrees.
One to watch.