Image © E-Magine Entertainment 2001
(26 September 2002) Operatica's O Volume 1 is the pleasurable debut release produced by Lord Vanger
and featuring the brilliant, evocative vocals of beloved opera diva Maureen O' Flynn. Operatica shares much in common with other "classical-crossover" artists like Aria, and
Sasha Lazard (both reviewed at Musical Discoveries) who, like Operatica, meld modern day drum loops, ambient and organic
instrumentation and classical operatic melodies. Lord Vanger has managed to
select beautiful songs that he has attractively rearranged with the addition of
club, drum and bass and trance beats. However,
Maureen's shimmering and gorgeous vocals remain the highlight of the album.
The songs on O range from the serene to the energetic. The lullaby-ish and romantic
L'Heure Exquise combines mesemerizing new age instrumentation and Maureen's pristine
voice. "Melancholy Rose," on the other hand, is a Euro-pop sounding number that soars
thanks to Maureen's voicings. One of the the loveliest tracks, "O Del Mio Dolce Ardor,"
relies on carnival-esque rythym and piano to create an air of sweet uncertainty. The more
experimental "In the City" is a synthesis of drum and bass percussion, various electronica
splashes, and guitar licks. "Dite Oime" is a darkly contrasting track chock full of
tragic and ominous shadings.
O makes for wonderful listening, and should appeal to both purists and those who appreciate
a touch of experimentation in their music. This music is the perfect antidote for a busy
and stressful day. Enjoy it.--Justin Elswick
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com
here. Clearly worth a journey like the ensemble's first album, this one is a very nice listen!