Julia Lezhneva – a fresh, new voice

It is always a pleasure to hear a new and exciting voice. Julia Lezhneva, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s 21 year-old protégé, has made her debut recital recording for the French label Naïve. The Sinfonia Varsovia is conducted by Marc Minkowski in six arias by Rossini. Lezhneva had been professionally performing since the age of 16 and won the Elena Obraztsova International Competition for young singers in 2007. She opened the Rossini Opera Festival alongside Juan Diego Flórez in 2008 and has given solo concerts at the Salzburg Festival.

As might be expected from a singer so young, the voice is fresh and commendably flexible. What cannot be determined is how large the voice is and whether it will show to good effect in the world’s major opera houses. On this recital disc, the singing is uniformly excellent. Although the arias are for the most part taken from the mezzo repertoire, Lezhneva is a true soprano. Her voice is most effective in the middle to upper middle register. She has first-class technique and a winning style that serves her well in this repertoire. What is most striking is the musical maturity with which the arias are presented. The first cut, Tanti effetti from “La donna del lago,” is particularly effective. Throughout the recital, trills, staccati, and other coloratura effects are immaculately executed.

Minkowski’s conducting is supportive and flexible, but he never loses the pulse of the music. The playing of the Sinfonia Varsovia is also uniformly of high quality. The orchestral support in Rossini’s Willow Song from “Otello” is especially sympathetic. As always, Naïve’s digital sound is bright and clear, without the glare and etching that often makes digital sound so tiring. All in all, this disc introduces an exciting new artist.

Look to hear her on the Sunday Opera Matinee’s post-Rossini opera feature. Check the schedule of upcoming operas at wtju.net. Click on the link to the Sunday Opera Matinee schedule.

More Recent Posts

  • We’re rekindling Charlottesville Classical on WTJU 91.1 FM

    Starting next Monday, July 13, WTJU’s classical department becomes Charlottesville Classical, your arts companion for our community. It’s radio for lovers of good music and curious seekers of new musical experiences. It’s radio for people who value our local community — yet who sometimes need a break from the bleakest of the news. It’s radio for […]

  • Friday, July 31, 4pm: “RADIO TALKS: The early days of underground radio”

    REGISTER HERE for this Zoom-based panel discussion on Friday, July 31, 4 – 5 p.m. Music entertains, but it can never be reduced to mere entertainment. Music is always a change agent in human life. And so it was in the early 1970s, when underground, freeform, and countercultural radio stations took to the airwaves, amidst […]

  • “WBCN and The American Revolution” Virtual Screening to Support WTJU 91.1 FM

    Film festival sensation WBCN and The American Revolution is now available in Charlottesville for screening in your own home. Don’t miss our panel discussion with the filmmaker and others on July 31: RADIO TALKS: The early days of underground radio The landmark film about the early days of the legendary, underground Boston radio station, will […]

  • New Blues and Soul News – 7/7/2020

    New Blues and Soul News – 7/7/2020 New Blues: Eli Cook – All Night Thing (C.R.8): “Eli Cook draws a line between blues-rock-grunge on new music: and it’s wicked. “I want this record to sound like John Fogerty and Billy Gibbons forced Scott Weiland to listen to Chuck Berry and Bill Haley records for a […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 7/7/2020

    New Jazz News – 7/7/2020 Jens Bockamp Flow Quartet – Into The Zone (Float Music): “Cologne-based saxophone player and award-winning composer Jens Böckamp presents his third album as a bandleader, an individual collection of sophisticated compositions in structure, harmonics and rhythm but still catchy and with plenty of space. Joscha Oetz (bass), strong and impulsive, […]

  • #ClassicsaDay #BlackLivesMatter Week 1

    Tags: , , , , , ,

    The Classics a Day team unanimously decided to make #BlackLivesMatter the theme for July. Classical music isn’t immune to systemic racism. It’s an art form that, like painting, sculpture, literature, or poetry, is a powerful form of expression for many voices. But some voices are heard more often than others. If you’d like to learn […]