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Opera is Back! Ernani Limelight Review

"Although the opera is called Ernani there is equal attention paid to each protagonist and equally difficult demands made of them. Natalie Aroyan’s Elvira was keenly anticipated after her formidable Odabella last year in Attila, which Verdi wrote just two years after Ernani (also for La Fenice). It cemented her growing reputation as a turbo-charged lyric soprano but Attila, also a co-production with La Scala, unfortunately had to close after two performances due to COVID so she could not be seen as widely as she deserved. Elvira’s first aria, Ernani! Ernani, involami, tested Aroyan at the bottom of her range in music that asks for adamantine strength in that part of the voice along with agility, force and glow at the top and a middle that seamlessly joins the two extremes. Aroyan was exciting when she soared above orchestra and full ensemble with apparent ease and eloquent colour, as she was so often asked to do. Those money moments were terrific but the quieter interactions were the ones to really cherish. Her second act love duet with Diego Torre’s Ernani was an affecting oasis of beauty in a chaotic landscape." - Deborah Jones


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