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Filippa Giordano
Image © 1999 Sugar Music 

(20 August 2000) The latest album from Filippa Giordano is a self-titled twelve track recording (Erato/Sugar (Italy) 3984-29694-2, 2000). Giordano's music is underpinned with classical influences, yet blended with pop sensibilities, it lies firmly in the crossover genre. Indeed, eight of the new album's tracks are Filippa's own interpretation of well-known arias while the remaining four are more accessible, contemporary vocal sensations. While she began recording as a pop artist, recent influences have been classical. Her vocal work is crystalline and comparable to both Sarah Brightman (review), Emma Shapplin (review), Aria (review) and Izzy (review). Filippa's soaring crystalline vocal excursions reveal extensive talent and training.

The album features long-time operatic favourites as "Vissi d’arte" from Tosca and "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, both by Puccini, "Addio del passato" from "La Traviata" by Verdi and "Casta Diva" from "Norma" by Bellini. "Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix" from "Samson & Dalila" by Saint Saens, and the Habanera from "Carmen" by Bizet; all are rich in passion, but performed absolutely natural. A short version of "Casta Diva" opens the album whilst an extended version concludes it. Giordano's own interpretatoin of "Ave Maria" rounds out the classically derived numbers. Gary S. Dalkin wrote, "Using a conventional orchestra sometimes supplemented by electronic keyboards and occasional drums, the production achieves a slick and glossy chart-friendly sound that will find favor with fans of Whitney Houston and Céline Dion. It's doubtful that serious opera aficionados will care much for Filippa Giordano, though music lovers in general may well find the album an attractive entry into the sometimes-forbidding world of the classical diva."

The four contemporary songs illustrate another side of this stunning vocalist's talent. The Ennio Morricone-Roger Waters "Lost Boys Calling" from the 1999 Golden Globe-winning movie The Legend of 1900 is the first following the classical numbers and is most reminscent of Céline Dion's work. "You Are The One" is the first of three contemporary tracks by Fracesco Sartori. Although contemporary in its construction, it is anthemic in style, most reminiscent of Mariah Carey's early work both in vocal delivery and overall sound. "Dissonanze" (Mondo Trash) continues in a similar vein combining rich orchestral arrangements with evocatively soaring vocal excursions. A soft emotive ballad entitled "Maria (By The Sea)" balances soaring vocals with light orchestral instrumentation. Constructed as an anthem, the track also compares favourably to Céline Dion's work.

You can read further reviews, hear sound samples and order Filippa Giordano's self-titled album from amazon.com here. Artwork accompanying the compact disc positions the classical numbers and contains several lovely photos of the attractive artist. Crystalline vocals, well arranged orchestration and tremendous production contribute to the stunning quality of Filippa's latest album. Certain to please enthusiasts of classical crossover female vocal work, the album is worth a cross country journey. Our readers will agree with us: it is a must listen!

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