SUMI JO sings Broadway
Sumi Jo, following the successes of her Erato releases "Bel Canto," Mozart Arias, this Autumn's two new recordings of French and Italian repertoire, ("Les Bijoux" and "La Promessa") and the Vienna album dedicated to Johann Strauss (II)'s 100th anniversary of his death, now crosses the Atlantic for a revival of some of Broadway's latest on her new CD, Only Love.
To say that this album is a departure from the Sumi Jo we all know would probably be an understatement. Her discography to date has shown a wide diversity of styles and a huge spectrum of vocal virtuosity. Nothing, however, can prepare the public for what they are about to hear. Crossovers from classical to popular music have been attempted, without any great success, by several opera stars. In the same way that some would not wish to hear pop stars attempting Verdi or Puccini, so the reverse is usually true. Big opera voices, in spite of all their producers' efforts, will somehow always sound uncomfortably 'classical' in their pop roles. So knowing Sumi Jo's overwhelming coloratura voice, we are astonished to hear this easy, natural, intimate, breathy voice with qualities that bring to mind Barbra Steisand, Judy Garland and Whitney Houston. How does she do it? So much passion, joy, heartbreak, then swing, as the moods change from song to song. And she genuinely sounds as though she is enjoying herself.
Sumi Jo will tell you that she has always loved a lot of pop music. How many of her loyal opera-going fans would believe she is a particular admirer of Veronique Sanson and Mariah Carey? The magic has been achieved here by finally persuading Sumi to put down on record a style of singing she has previously kept to herself 'from going public.' With songs by Sondheim, Frank N. Wildhorn and Claude-Michel Schonberg one can see that this was not an easy decision for any singer to take, much less one whose reputation has been so solidly founded in the world of operas and concert halls. Prepare to be amazed! This was, however, no gamble and the few people who previously were in on Sumi Jo's secret had no doubt whatsoever of her ability to dazzle her audience with this new release.
Someone Like You (Jekyll and Hyde)
Unusual Way (Nine)
Losing My Mind (Follies)
Once Upon A Dream (Jekyll and Hyde)
Only Love (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
Send In The Clowns (A Little Night Music)
Just in Time (Bells Are Ringing)
Dream With Me
I Dreamt I Dwelt in marble Halls (The Bohemiam Girl)
I Still Believe (Miss Saigon)
Album produced for the Erato label by Ettore Stratta, arrangements/piano by Mike Renzi and also features a guest appearance by Alban Gerhardt (cello).
See you Sunday!
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