With Portret, one of the main goals of Alenka Gotar is the “modernise” opera and make it more “accessible” to a wider public, something she enjoyed to openly express as the voiceo of Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest six years ago, with the majestic Cvet z juga.
Therefore, through a selection of fifteen songs we are provided with interesting efforts and trials contributing in making this desire come true. Interesting indeed is the phrase ; especially when we focus on the original songs on the whole, representing about half the album.
A fair share of them have a nice touch, a positive feeling sometimes falling into passion giving a certain romantic like taint to the album, getting more obvious with the choices of covers proposed. Also, there is a present energy that we can really feel in some song like Ženska iz soli but it unfortunately doesn’t feel like the amounts if these good elements have been put into this album to make it an outstanding one.
In Nek te voli kao ja, the nice raw spirit coming out of it feels like it actually represents quite well the character of this album, mainly made of good ideas but not as nicely put into shape.
The project of vulgarisation gets thus quickly compromised by this 4th track already.
The second half of Portret definitely stands out as the best reason to listen to it ; offering nice cover versions of opera classics which in the end saves the overall project. Ave Maria, O mio babbino caro, Habanera, Meine Lippen, sie kussen so heiss, are here to witness of the wide variety of influences and languages picked, a real showcase of talent, that is unfortunately lacking on the creative side.
In the end we wish the inspiration for more effective creations was there. The risky challenge to make a full album only out of these wasn’t taken and we can’t help but feel thankful for that, commending the clairvoyant self-consciousness to have had on this one.