Gheorghiu opened the drama further in its second installment, but not before the orchestra, led by Tiberiu Soare, played the intermezzo with some finely expressive cello and viola solos from Act II of “The other Manon“(by Puccini: as he says, a woman like Manon can have more than one lover).
In recitative style sections, Gheorghiu has the ability to bring out expressive intensity at key points and at the end of Cry my eyes from Massenet The Cid she reached a peak of blazing dramatic strength.
The classic melodic form of Song to the Moon de Rusalka de Dvorak limited that a bit. The expressiveness remained, but within the elegant confines of the chorus’s haunting descending arc.
In the second half, in A beautiful di Vedremo from Puccini Madame Papillon, Gheorghiu used masterful vowel control and carefully modulated dynamic control to create a sense of spaciousness.
Vissi of art by the same composer Tosca, captured a comparable feeling of sculptural fullness.
The orchestra presented the music of Bizet Carmen with the opening of Act IV, and the lower range of the nerve lines of the Habanera of this work has demonstrated its control even in the midrange.
To close it was back to Manon (Puccini’s version this time), this time transported to New Orleans for her sins and feeling a little weak because of it.
Sola, perduta, abbandonata provided the opportunity for a final sample of Gheorghiu’s full range of power, color, vocal range and expressive intensity for a multitude of reminders and ovations.