Netrebko said in a recent interview: “I cannot hold my voice any more. I tried quite a long time to stay in my repertoire and hold it back. But I don’t see any reason to do that any more, especially since my personality changed as well. I want something else.”
That´s putting it nicely. The “inas and onas” as Bidù Sayao called them would be (have been) her repertoire really. In the meanwhile her voice has become so heavy-weight with a large amount of phlegm and less vocal focus, that she is too heavy for this repertory which vocally would have suited her and vocally inadequate for Verdi or the real spinto repertory. The voice has lost much of its former natural elasticity (not only in regard to agility) and vocal resilience, which she is trying to make up for with considerable muscular effort, but her mainly full-voiced singing tends to sound monotonous and tiresome. Admittedly, the boost she still has in her high notes is remarkable, reminding one of those big notes Freni had in her prime.
Intonation is another issue. She sings with such guttural inflection to achieve this broad sound that both intonation and diction become a serious problem. – Especially here in the “Don Pasquale” aria from 2010, which requires all she does not possess anymore: subtle vocal charm instead of cheap non-musical effects; effortless, pointed and “light-footed” singing instead of “steamrolling” the music; poignant instead of fuzzy diction.
Try listening to this without looking….