Polish coloratura Aleksandra Kurzak (born 1977) just released her first soloalbum with Decca, where she chose to present highlights from the coloratura repertoire - Rosina, Gilda, Adina, Violetta, Lucia, Lauretta, Adele, Musetta. Plus the Polish accent Hanna’s aria from Stanisław Moniuszko’s “The Haunted Manor”.
Kurzak is a no-nonsense performer, with wonderful low notes combined with the full coloratura range. I remember reading somewhere that she used to sing the C (above the high C) but because she needed to develop her middle register her highest note now is "only" the G (above the high C obviously).
I always feel it pointless to compare such mixed discs too heavily with the great artists of the past. A disc like Gioia is much the musical equivalent of a business card for Aleksandra Kurzak and she shows what she can do with the repertoire she currently performs on stage.
She tackles the characters non-sentimentally face-on, whether it is Gilda or Lucia, the approach is roughly the same. Some may perhaps miss interpretatory depth and variation in characterization. However, she hits the notes better than most and sounds largely unstrained and her voice quality would seem to make the full range of lyric soprano roles possibilities for her.
No, she doesn´t deliver final interpretations of any of the performed arias, and neither does she eclipse the great from the past. But the disc is enjoyable as it is.
The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average): 4