Italian baritone Giorgio Caoduro is a singer who has taken his time in releasing his first recital disc. Over a decade of roles at La Scala, LA, Sydney and the Royal Opera House have helped shape technique in which drama is absolutely embedded, and we hear the fruits in this shape-shifting release that takes the singer from comedy to tragedy, villain to hero (via a few elderly buffoons) as he runs the gamut of Rossini’s baritone roles.
In case that sounds like a predictable litany of Figaros, Dandinis and Bartolos, rest assured, the choices are far less obvious. Dandini does make an appearance, but a spacious Come un’ape ne’ giorni d’aprile, with plenty of meaty bluster and vocal pomp, and a light-footed Un segreto d’importanza are framed with everything from Torvaldo e Dorliska’s Duke, a repentant Batone from L’inganno felice and Gaudenzio from Il Signor Bruschino. We even peek over the parapet of grand opera with Guillaume Tell’s lovely prayer Sois immobile.
It’s an accomplished showcase, and while there’s no denying the legato Caoduro brings to the Guillaume Tell or the tension he finds in Arsace’s revenge aria from Semiramide, this lightly oaked voice still feels most at home in comedy. Caoduro’s coloratura is impeccable – almost too crisply articulated at times – even at the feisty speeds conductor Jacopo Brusa sets for his Virtuoso Brunenses, carving out each note absolutely clean.
It’s a shame there’s not stronger support from the Brno Janácek Opera Chorus, who often sound wan and a bit thin on the ground, failing to muster anything like the energy Caoduro is singlehandedly generating.
Listen on Apple Music.
Work: Selected arias
Performers: Giorgio Caoduro bar, Brno Janáček Opera Chorus, Virtuoso Brunenses/Jacopo Brusa
Label: Glossa GCD923525