I'm really not having a schadenfreude party about this, but one hears C G-D bowed out of Act III of Butterfly last night, in vocal distress, perhaps ill. Cynthia Lawrence stepped in after an hour-long intermission. Lawrence I know only from 2/3 of a Fledermaus, and by my recollection, Puccini seems like a better match for her voice. She is reported to have sung solidly. So now we know who the cover was, anyway, and it wasn't Racette. CG-D actually sounded much better in the Ascher Fisch-conducted Siriuscast I heard than at the prima.
Magdalena Kozena's new Mozart disc is on itunes, and it's a real pleasure... but enough, Simon Rattle, with the crazy ornamentation. It goes far enough overboard on "Voi che sapete" that there's a bonus track played straight. I'm no scholar of HIP, and maybe this stuff is utterly appropriate. To my ear, it's ungainly in places, most especially "E Amore un Ladroncello," which she sang so memorably last season.
Is it time for Magdalena to drop the purely nominal "mezzo" yet? I guess Bartoli still hasn't. Perhaps you can get by better as a not particularly huge voice lyric mezzo than soprano these days. It's not mezzo in range, coloration, or in this case, rep. As I saw noted in someone's review (sorry, someone, for the lack of attribution; damn my memory) she shies away a little only at bottom.
Aural frosting of the voice aside, this is intelligently done stuff. Kozena finds a little room here and there for the tiny amount of rubato you can get away with in Mozart, and it pays off. Recommended track (which you can only get, dammit, with the whole album): Per Pieta. Yeah, like I said--not a mezzo. She emotes touchingly in what is not, per pieta, a showpiece. She doesn't yell the top of the aria, because she doesn't have to.
Yes, I will eventually go to the opera again. Don Carlo, if not before.
Personal to RysanekFreak: would you consider emailing me that step-by-step for the "audacity" recording program?