The roof almost rose at Wigmore Hall as Eleonora Buratto took to the stage for a Rosenblatt Recital of show-stopping operatic arias and Neapolitan songs.
Buratto made her much-praised debut at the Met earlier this year as Norina in Don Pasquale; the size and power of her voice makes her a natural for a large arena. She opened with ‘Dove sono’, Mozart’s expressive and melancholy aria from The Marriage of Figaro and impressed with a velvety lower register and shaded, persuasive delivery. Luscious vibrato and dramatic trills were on display in her next piece, ‘Guisto ciel!’ from Rossini’s The Siege of Corinth, although her top notes were just a shade metallic and shrill.
Nazzareno Carusi went solo with a mechanical and deliberate reading of Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor (K397), then Buratto returned to give ‘Casta diva’ from Bellini’s Norma and ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimi’ from La bohème, both impeccably performed and showing great powers of expression and concentration.
Following the interval Buratto’s vivacious personality came to the fore with Neapolitan songs from the turn of the twentieth century. Two cycles, Malinconia and Four Songs of Amaranta – settings of d’Annunzio by Tosti – explored the pains of love with a gentle intensity. Another piano solo, the tempestuous ‘Sposalizio’ (from the Italian leg of Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage) separated the cycles. The highlight of the second half was a subtle and moving song by Franco Alfano, ‘Parlami, amor mio’, from Tre poemi di Tagore. Slight dissonances in the accompaniment reflected the complexities of love and life. The encore ‘A vucchella’, further Tosti and a favourite of Buratto’s mentor Pavarotti, brought the evening to a triumphant close.