Five years after her last solo recording of verismo arias, Russian star soprano Anna Netrebko returns with another whopper of an album. Amata dalle Tenebre is a bit of flag planting, signalling the kind of high-wattage roles that Netrebko is likely to unveil and frequently perform at this late stage of her career. At 49, her spinto instrument has never been more powerful or full-bodied, and it’s almost shocking to recall that she spent more than a few years singing lyric coloratura roles.

Netrebko
Partnered by Riccardo Chailly and the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, her diva bona fides are on full display in Ritorna vincitor , which fairly explodes with feeling. She traverses the top and bottom of the voice with ease, and there’s a grandness and sweep to her singing that’s just perfect for mature Verdi. She brings similar pathos and a feeling of wisdom gained through bitter experience in the same composer’s Tu che le vanità , while her...