Resounding success for Irina Lungu’s debut at the Ópera de Oviedo in I puritani! The press has been enthusiastically lauding the soprano’s performances as Elvira. Check out here below the many rave reviews:
”Irina Lungu reigns in “I Puritani”
In the first place, the great winner of the evening, Irina Lungu. The great Russian diva, one of the most prominent internationally in this repertoire, defended the devilish role of Elvira convincingly and without sparing herself. With an opulent and well-timbred vocality, with a powerful top – very typical of the Russian school -, impeccable agility and extraordinary interpretive skills, she conquered every obstacle with ease and shone at all times in all her interventions, not only in the cathartic peaks of the “madness” scene. Her performance was complete, a display of (good) singing from the beginning to the end.”
Marina Cosme, La Nueva España
”The Campoamor Opera applauds the premiere of I Puritani, marked by Sagi’s accurate sets and with Irina Lungu as the great winner of the evening”
”Among the protagonists, the great protagonist, with a most beautiful timbre and evident stage skills, always modulating her voice, Irina Lungu was a complete Elvira”
Ramon Avello, El Comercio
”The great winner of the evening was, without a doubt, soprano Irina Lungu. There was nothing lacking in her Elvira: exquisite stage performance, perfect vocal control, in a role that she dominates in its entirety and in which her polished vocal production shone, with thrilling agility, and a secure, round and expressive top.”
Marina Cosme, Ópera Áctual
”The cast was headed by Irina Lungu in the very difficult role of Elvira, the most applauded of the performance, particularly in the mad scene “O rendetemi la speme…Vien diletto, è in ciel la luna”. Her instrument perfectly suits the requirements of the character, with a graceful coloratura, enviable breaths and a most beautiful timbre in the high notes, always produced with the utmost elegance”
Nuria Blanco Álvarez, Scherzo
”In second place, voices are required to match the demands imposed by Bellini, and here again we have another success. Oviedo experienced an authentic vocal display by Irina Lungu, who, in addition to the well-known vocal quality and ease of coloratura, built an Elvira with dramatic nuances, which greatly enriched a character whom the libretto presents in a flat and passive way. . Everything rounded off a successful night for the soprano, who was making her debut at the Campoamor, receiving great ovations in all her interventions.”
Alejandro G. Villalibre, Operaworld.es
”Such is the case of the role of Elvira, an extremely long and manifestly difficult part which Irina Lungu pulled off with ability, which is not little with such a role. Thus, Lungu showed herself secure throughout the performance, dazzling Arturo from the very first act with her Polonaise “Son vergin vezzosa” and doing a great job in her madness scene characterized by an extremely well projected very high register.”
Javier Labrada, Platea Magazine
“A Vocal Treat
Irina Lungu brought her acclaimed interpretation of Elvira to Oviedo for the first time. The role was conceived for a lyric soprano with coloratura whose writing lies mostly in the middle register with some ascensions to a high B, C, and D flat. During the bel canto renaissance around 1950, the role started to be performed by lirico-leggera sopranos and began traditions that included several high D naturals and an E flat. Sopranos also started to add variations and cadenzas in the upper register.
Lungu was up to the task and was a delight as her lyrical voice was accompanied by stunning voluminous high notes, clean coloratura, and exquisite pianissimi. The role of Elvira opens with a duet with “Giorgio” in which she shows her instability declaring she will never get married and prefers to die before jubilating over her upcoming marriage with Arturo. It is a piece that combines gorgeous legato phrases with intricate coloratura lines that establishes Elvira’s vocal writing throughout the opera. Lungu showed beautiful control of Bellini’s line and her sublime middle voice projected wonderfully into the auditorium. She also brought sonorous high notes to the duet including a climactic High D natural.
During Arturo’s entrance aria “A te o cara,” Lungu displayed her breath control by sustaining A naturals for several bars while making a breathtaking diminuendo. In the polonaise “Son Vergin Vezzosa,” Lungu sang with an impeccable coloratura technique showing her flexibility from her low to high registers and inserted variations as well as several high Ds that were sung during staccati and pianissimi phrases. There were also two well supported high Ds that projected well into the auditorium.
Elvira’s first big aria “Vieni al Tempio” comes at the end of Act one and it represents her first mad scene in the work. Elvira cries for her lost Arturo and in this piece, the soprano is forced to ascend to high C’s all while accompanied by a full orchestra and chorus. Lungu’s voice resonated over the ensemble emitting the pain in her character. She also showed the qualities of her lyrical voice and strong middle while keeping the long legato lines Bellini was famous for.
Act two contains the most famous piece of the work, as the soprano sings her mad scene “Qui la voce…Vien diletto,” which is almost 20 minutes. Bellini chose to write the piece in the middle register for the vocalist to show gorgeous legato singing and in the cabaletta, the composer gave the soprano fierce coloratura that has become a piece for the display of vocal pyrotechnics. During the cabaletta, Lungu included variations and a long voluminous high E flat. Her interpretation of the mad scene was warmly rewarded by the audience (…) In the third act, Lungu made her presence felt in the duet with Arturo as she interpolated a high D natural in “Vieni fra queste braccia” and a high C at the end of the duet. She also added an extra high D in the “Nel mirarti” cadenza.”
Mauricio Villa, Operawire
[Photo by Iván Martínez]