With her latest full-length recording, Vox Eterna, Diane di Stasio has claimed her place as one of the more captivating classical singers who has embraced the world of pop. The results…outstanding! These ten tracks are truly pop songs, not opera, but di Stasio's gorgeous voice elevates them into a realm of their own. Whether her arrangements call for a bank of strings or synthesizers her vocals clearly make the results a thrilling musical experience. She is rightfully the star of her own CD.
The phrase, "angelic voice," seems to get bandied about whenever someone needs to describe a woman's singing, but in this case, it's no lie. I mean that literally. If angels could sing, this is almost certainly what they'd sound like. Or at least what they'd want to listen to. A strong, enchanting soprano, Diane lends her voice to many different moods on this disc, and the results--whether remaking classic rock tunes, or covering operatic arias--are equally impressive. Her voice lends emotion and tenderness, adding an air of fragility to such classics as "Nights in White Satin," or "Fields of Gold." Her diaphanous take on "Nights in White Satin," is devastatingly haunting and mesmerizing, while her version of "Fields of Gold," is laced with ethereal beauty and grace…the perfect blend of a masterful voice added to a perfect song.
She's equally as impressive on the more operatic numbers, like “Fra Nuvole E Acqua," and “O Mio Babbino Caro,” which can bring goosebumps to the listener.
Other standout tracks include, "Shadows” which starts out with di Stasio cooing softly over a solo piano. The song gradually builds in both intensity and volume, adding strings and electric rhythm guitars along the way, until guitarist Brennan Smiley takes it home with a rock 'n roll solo during the finale that is again highlighted by the soprano's voice soaring over the massive wall of sound the song has become.
Interesting musical arrangements often back up di Stasio's vocals. "Dream", written by Steven Bliss, has a string-laden instrumental break reminiscent of any of the Indian and psychedelic sounds that appeared on 1967 era Beatles records. Later, I realized that it's probably not a coincidence because the credits for this song included a sitar and Abbey Road Studio's celesta and bells.
For people who prefer Top 40 there are tracks such as "Find A Place To Breathe" and "Take Me There." Both are dominated by machines masquerading as musical instruments but, unless you are listening below the surface, you won't notice the technology because the most important and beautiful instrument on the disc, di Stasio's voice, is so melodic and graceful that the musicality of the songs shine through in spite of all the programming.
“I have always wanted to bridge the gap between worlds that seem like polar opposites – blending the refined sounds of opera with modern musical expression,” says Diane. “I love the idea of pure, ethereal vocal lines connected with cool rhythms. It is that special blend of beautiful and mysterious melodies that allows a song to weave through the soul,” says di Stasio.
The sessions were produced by Grammy nominated artist and producer, Billy Smiley with Diane di Stasio having a hand in the arrangements.
The talented singer has performed on stages all over America and Europe. She sings in eight languages including French, Italian, and Japanese.