Never less than engaging, one immediately notices Álvarez’s clear focus and intelligence. His ability to colour his voice and darken his low register is aptly demonstrated in the Leoncavallo arias O mio piccolo tavolo from Zaza and Testa adorata from La Bohème. Also notable is the mood of restrained passion broken by the sudden outburst in Zandonai’s Giulietta, son io from Giulietta e Romeo.
Under Orbelian’s assured control there’s solid and sensitive support from the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra which adds to the weight of dramatic impact when needed. The recorded sound is clarity itself with good presence; well balanced too.