Nino Machaidze (soprano), Orchestre national de France, Daniele Gatti
Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze became an overnight sensation when she appeared in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette at the 2008 Salzburg festival. Her second recital disc, recorded four years later, leaves you wondering whether her starry reputation is fully justified. Machaidze's programme is structured round a series of roles – Violetta in Verdi's Traviata, Massenet's Manon, Ophélie in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet– that she has yet to sing on stage. Her characterisations are generalised, though her smoky tone makes her a particularly alluring Manon. A number of technical problems are apparent, however: trills are approximate, her high notes can turn alarmingly shrill and her diction is variable. Subtle accompaniments from Daniele Gatti and his Parisian orchestra fail to lift it. A bit of a disappointment.