Recorded in the early stages of the pandemic, Sonya Yoncheva’s Rebirth is a plea for regeneration, of the hustle and bustle of life after an enforced period of silence. Featuring Leonardo García Alarcón and his Cappella Mediterranea, the recording mainly consists of baroque arias and instrumental music, but with a Bulgarian folk song, a Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus contribution, and Venezuelan singer-songwriter Simón Díaz thrown into the mix too. Look, it’s a hodgepodge, but it clearly doesn’t bother the Bulgarian soprano, who exudes a sense of playfulness that extends to her vocal approach and is fully matched by the frothy, demonstrative accompaniments of the orchestra.

Sonya Yoncheva

Yoncheva’s instrument remains as sumptuous as ever, which she does little to scale down. Specialists may cringe, and it’s not always appropriate, but it’s hard to quibble with that voice. Plush and steely, it has a distinctly Italianate thrust that makes the meaty recitatives come alive. Happily, she’s retained the flexibility and understanding of the baroque idiom gained in her days with William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix.

That early training shows itself throughout,...