Revisiting assignments from voice lessons of years ago, and was reminded of the glories of Gluck, as interpreted by the wonderful Spanish mezzo Teresa Berganza.

Sort of astonishing to me that this aria is often tackled by beginning classical voice students (certainly where I first encountered it). Granted, it’s a workout for even breath control, but finding the right expressive character, one of gentle ardor, is even more challenging.

And here is Angela Gheorghiu, who perhaps pushes it a little to much into Verdian pathos (and needs the music, seriously?), but has, despite her quirks, a surpassingly beautiful vocal line.

O del mio dolce ardor
Bramato oggetto,
L’aura che tu respiri,
Alfin respiro.

O vunque il guardo io giro,
Le tue vaghe sembianze
Amore in me dipinge:
Il mio pensier si finge
Le più liete speranze;
E nel desio che così
M’empie il petto
Cerco te, chiamo te, spero e sospiro.

I will look for someone who does it in 17th century style one of these days, until then, these true opera stars will have to do.

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