Pure Diva

Jean-Jacques Millo (English trans.)
Parutions.com (France)

This recording made in 2010 is a lively homage to the Australian soprano Dame Joan Hammond (1912-1996), with a generous program including no less than six composers: Tchaikovsky (Eugene Onegin), Verdi (Otello, Don Carlo), Korngold (Die Tote Stadt), Offenbach (The Tales of Hoffmann), Purcell (Dido and Aeneas), Dvořák (Rusalka), as well as four diverse songs (Shadows, Home Sweet Home, The Green Hills of Somerset, The Last Rose of Summer) that the legendary singer sang in her day.

Today it is the soprano Cheryl Barker who is reviving this repertoire and memories come flooding back, notably too from the pen of John Steane in the accompanying booklet. The result is a beautiful recital with stylish orchestral accompaniment. Cheryl Barker’s approach is one of dramatic engagement at every turn, distilling passion or melancholy according to the arias’ requirements.... An intense and sincere recital-tribute.