- Review by Mossip - Andrea Guy on Feb 25, 2009
For those of you who are fans of the vocal styling of Sarah Brightman and want to find another glorious voice, here is the artist you want to take notice of. Elena is a Russian born singer educated at Moscow State University and Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Elena shares much in common with the likes of Brightman. Her vocal range for one and the ability to crossover from more classical recordings to something with a more universal appeal. Elena does this with Allure, her second album. Sure you'll find some operatic pieces but you'll also find a mixture of other styles of music, including some Broadway tunes like I Feel Pretty which should be familiar to many listeners.
There are a some pleasant surprises on this record, like her medley of Silent Night and The Little Drummer Boy which will send your mind to a darkened cathedral at about midnight on Christmas Eve. If you keep your eyes closed long enough you may even see the flickering of the candles. You'll want to listen to this track long after the holidays have gone.
Keeping with the holiday theme, Elena performs The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy with such beauty that you will long for the holidays so you can go see The Nutcracker.
What will keep you listening is the voice that is as close to perfection as one can get. Even the casual listener will marvel at how well she handles the change from a more operatic song to the simple carols without making them sound pretentious, and there's nothing pretentious about Elena. With Elena what you get is just a pure, angelic voice that soars to dazzling heights on every track. She hits every note without piercing the eardrums, as some sopranos can and just as easily sink into a lower range.
If you're looking to explore a new style of music and you like female artists, I suggest you give Elena a try. It might just be an hour of bliss for your ears.
- Interview with producer Jonathan Wyner (whose credits include recordings with Aerosmith, David Bowie, Kiri Te Kanawa, the London Symphony Orchestra, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen)
What is interesting and/or unusual about this record, Allure?
It’s wonderfully varied. There is enough familiar material to make the listener ‘comfortable’ but it doesn’t rest in that comfort zone. The range of material is wide, and ventures into some unexpected places, yet none of it feels forced or gratuitous since it is bound together by Elena’s glowing voice, her interpretive skill and her love of the material.
Her dramatic life story has had a strong impact on her singing and stage style. Raised in a musical family in Russia, Elena’s father was a nationally known military conductor, and even as a teenager she gave concerts and recitals to audiences of thousands. While pursuing a degree in journalism in the prestigious Moscow State University, she also attended Music College full-time. In her quest to reach her full potential she often drove herself to the point of exhaustion, even once fainting in the subway from overexertion.
Tragically, Elena lost her singing voice after the untimely death of her father, and she was forced to withdraw from the stage. Struggling with the realities of then-economically depressed Russia, Elena turned to housecleaning as a way to make a living. Within five years she…
To read more please go to www.elenazoubareva.com