Gerald Finley is devilishly good

Baritone Gerald Finley is on fantastic form in this collection of great operatic arias accompanied by an on-form LPO

Composer: Various
Repertoire: Great Operatic Arias, , Vol.22
Artists: Gerald Finley (bar), London Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Chandos CHAN 3167

Composers often give the devilish parts in opera – roles like Don Giovanni, Iago and Scarpia – to baritones. But I’m beginning to wonder if Finley has a more personal connection with Old Nick, for his voice only increases in ear-caressing richness and youthful suppleness year by year. But if there is indeed a diabolical pact, the results are worth the bargain: his accounts of the above-named villains are as dramatically powerful as they are gorgeously sung. Though Gardner’s polished conducting sometimes lacks bite, Finley’s electrifying accounts of arias from Iolanta, Tannhaüser and Carmen more than compensate.