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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Sasha & Shawna Siren CD Cover
Sasha Lazard | Shawna Stone
Image © The Blue Note Group 2007


More Sasha Lazard:
Interview and Photos (2002)
Myth Of Red (2002)
Miles Away (2007)


Shawna Stone | Sasha Lazard
Image © The Blue Note Group 2007


Shawna Stone poses for FHM Magazine
Image © FHM Magazine 2007

 

(03 October 2007) Sasha Lazard and Shawna Stone are the stunning sopranos that are the lead vocalists of the rapidly emerging classical crossover duo Sasha and Shawna. Their premiere CD Siren (Manhattan/Blue Note/EMI (USA) 0946 3 56416 2 2, 2007) was produced by Grammy Award winning producer Peter Asher. The twelve track album is an excellent crossover collection with covers of popular tunes and accessible reworkings of longstanding classical favorities. Accompanied by an extremely well produced and full color booklet, Siren is the third album release by Lazard, yet it is Stone's premiere.

Sasha Lazard. A well accomplished soprano, Sasha received her vocal training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. With an edgy sophistication and an artist's desire for freedom, Sasha eventually rebelled against the constraints of the tight-laced opera scene, and left behind her established career as a classical performer.

Sasha began collaborating with pop producer Frank Fitzpatrick and redefined her performance. She unveiled her new sound at top venues in New York and Los Angeles, and performed for over 8,000 people in Europe's largest nightclub, Club Privilege in Ibiza, Spain. Sasha received overwhelming acclaim from American and European club audiences and was soon asked to record the theme song to the film Princess Mononoke; the critically acclaimed, Holy Smoke, starring Kate Winslet; Modigliani, starring Andy Garcia; and most recently, the end credit song to Kettle of Fish starring Mathew Modine and Gina Gerson.

Sasha's alluring rendition of "Angeli" was featured in Victoria Secret's "Angel" campaign. Check out additional sounds and photos at Sasha's official website and further alluring photographs at her MySpace site.

Shawna Stone. Shawna is the critically acclaimed and award winning operatic soprano and former resident of Opera New York and a distinguished graduate of the University of Southern Carlifornia's School of Music. She has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, performed at New York's Lincoln Center, Rome's Basilica di San Clemente, and in leading operatic roles throughout North America and Europe. Her performances include: Adele in Strauss' Die Fledermaus; Alice in Verdi's Falstaff and Cleopatra in Handel's Julius Ceasar. They have been especially notable. To illlustrate that the term crossover has a variety of meanings, she also posed for provocative and revealing spread in FHM magazine.

Shawna's repertoire consists of works by French, German, Italian, English, American, Brazilian, Spanish, Russian, Czeckoslovakian and Finnish composers. She is the two-time winner of the Leni Fe Bland Music Grant and was the recent first place winner of the I Malatesta Singing Competition which took place in Cessena, Italy. Shawna lives in New York City and has an array of alluring photos available for viewing at her own website as well as her personal MySpace site.

Review. This album perfectly blends the hypnotic voices of Sasha Lazard, whose exquisite voice is rooted in the classical-electronica scene, and Shawna Stone, whose luscious voice has graced international opera houses. Executive produced by Grammy® Award-winner Peter Asher, this duo have found a fresh, original approach to interpreting contemporary songs ranging from James Taylor ("Close Your Eyes") to Radiohead ("Fade out") to John Denver ("Per Te"/ "For You") to Kansas ("Dust in the Wind"). These memorable pieces are delivered with superb artistry and delightful production.

There are also such gorgeous operatic arias as Donizetti's "Una Furtiva Lagrima," an adaptation of Bach's "Air on the G String" and "Stabat Mater [XX]," a revisitation of the 18th century Italian composer Pergolesi. The mix of contemporary pieces and classical arias works well on this tremendous album. The individual interpretations by each of Shawna and Sasha reflect the phases of life that they are both in and has worked extremely well. The music is as beautiful as the women are gorgeous.

Classical crossover music adds contemporary treatments to enduring classical material. Sirens combines crossover material with the crystalline voices of Sasha Lazard and Shawna Stone. This classical crossover album has been carefully prepared, produced and recorded. Clearly an album for female vocalist enthusiasts, it must be noticed and consumed slowly like a bottle of the finest wine.

 
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