29 March, 2011
CD and Other Review

Review: HANDEL Arias: Ombra Cara (countertenor: Bejun Mehta; Freiburg Baroque/Jacobs)

Countertenor Bejun Mehta enters the increasingly crowded field of Handel recitals and triumphs with this engaging and exquisitely sung selection of arias and duets, many of them composed for the great castrato Senesino.  Dark yet delicate in timbre, Mehta’s voice defies the common criticisms (or myths) surrounding the countertenor voice, displaying not only spectacular agility but a wealth of colour, superb dynamic control, and a steely strength which underpins the sheer loveliness of sound.  But it is Mehta’s vocal acting which lifts this recital to another level. Be it in the exultant coloratura of Sento la gioia, the long, hushed lines of Stille amare or the militant staccati of Fammi combatere, Mehta teams technical brilliance with sensitive expressivity, capturing even the most broadly drawn Baroque emotions with touching sincerity.  Collections of Handel arias are hardly thin on the ground these days – barely a month seems to pass without a few new additions to the discography – but Mehta’s rare combination of virtuosity and expressive acuity makes this recital one of the finest such releases in recent years.

18 March, 2011
features

Million-dollar Maestro

Italian conductor Riccardo Muti scoops classical music’s largest cash prize. Continue reading Get unlimited digital access from $3 per month Subscribe Already a subscriber? Log in

23 February, 2011
features

Cecilia Bartoli in Australia

Italian mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli has conquered the world’s great opera houses, turned Salieri into a bestseller and become a saviour of the classical recording industry… But she has never, until now, performed in Australia. Francis Merson spoke to Cecilia on the eve of her maiden tour. Continue reading Get unlimited digital access from $3 per month Subscribe Already a subscriber? Log in

18 February, 2011
features

Anna Nicole premieres at Covent Garden

A new opera based on the life of actress and model Anna Nicole Smith has premiered in London, to surprisingly positive first reviews. Continue reading Get unlimited digital access from $3 per month Subscribe Already a subscriber? Log in

17 February, 2011
features

Xanthoudakis wins BBT award

Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis has become the first Australian to win a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Continue reading Get unlimited digital access from $3 per month Subscribe Already a subscriber? Log in