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Move over, Anna...

img  Tobias

Music, even if the press sometimes wants us to believe otherwise, is no battlefield. There was room for both Oasis and Blur, when they simultaneously tried to storm the throne of the album- and singles charts and if there is space enough for three great tenors per generation, there must surely be space for more than two shining sopranos - even if they're both called Anna.

At the moment, you might actually be wondering which second An(n)a we're referring to, as Russian sensation Miss Netrebko is taking up so much attention that you might be tempted to believe she was the Classical world's very own navel. But things should soon change as Ana Maria Martinez is preparing for the launch of her first solo disc with Naxos. A muse to Andrea Bocelli (whom she performed with as early as in 2003), among others, she already has a remarkable and fast-moving career to her credit: Debuts at Santa Fe, the Dresden Semper Opera and San Francisco, Hamburg and Berlin (and many others!), co-operations with Placido Domingo, Dieter Dorn and Bernard Haitink as well as roles in the plays that make opera lovers swoon. Her discography is already extensive and diverse, featuring recordings of Glass, Bacalov and of Albeniz's "Merlin" (again with Domingo), which earned her a Latin grammy (Ana owns a Puerto Rican passport). But nothing should give her more joy than Naxos publishing "Soprano Songs and Arias", a collection of great tunes that nonetheless avoids the all too obvious. There's Puccini, yes, but also some Delibes and Canteloube and it's always nice to hear some Lehar once in a while. With a total of eleven tracks, the disc is also nicely compact and allows you to listen to it right from the beginning until the very end.

Her calendar is already booked for the next two years, so it really does look like things are moving up. And maybe, if all goes well, there will even be time for a performance with her sister in name at one time. There's no need for this kind of rivalry, after all.

Homepage: Ana Maria Martinez
Homepage: Ana Maria Martinez at Naxos
Homepage: Ana Maria Martinez at JAG Entertainment

Picture by Tom Specht

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