Il Tenore (Freddie de Tommaso) – Opera – Reviews
Bizet: Carmen – arias and duets; Puccini: Tosca – excerpts; Turandot – excerpts; Madame Butterfly – excerpts
Freddie De Tommaso (tenor), Lise Davidsen, Natalya Romaniw (soprano), Aigul Akhmetshina (mezzo-soprano); Philharmonia Orchestra/Paolo Arrivabeni
Decca 485 2945 48:32 min
In this sequel to a much-admired debut album, Freddie de Tommaso wisely sticks to the roles he has sung in the theater or is due to play soon. It starts with Tosca and proves a natural Puccinian, producing an even flow of yarn tone in ‘Recondita armonia’. There’s a breath control you rarely hear in the Act I duet with soprano Lise Davidsen – a surprisingly passionate ‘Floria Tosca’. Better still, ‘E lucevan le stelle’ by Cavaradossi, in which De Tommaso proves to be a master storyteller. His ‘Nessun Dorma’ is less a triumphant hymn to tenor masculinity than a man who lives up to his courage. It is only in the final “Vincero” that he lets go. And what weight!
He is a youthful and headstrong Pinkerton in the love duet with soprano Natalya Romaniw as the butterfly, with polished characterization as well as vocal finesse. In his last aria “Addio fiorito asil”, he really seems to understand what he has done. If he’s less satisfying than Don José, then maybe he’s striving for a faded vocal coloration to convey the emotional dead end this man has arrived at. But conductor Paolo Arrivabeni must take some of the blame as he fashionably stretches tempos to breaking point. However, this allows us to hear this young tenor for what he is: a thoroughbred.