by Franco FagioliFranco Fagioli


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Countertenor performances of 19th century opera are a historical and, ultimately, true novelty. This said, for those who love the sound of the countertenor voice and want to give it a try, there are several factors that recommend this release by countertenor Franco Fagioli, with the small orchestra Armonia Atenea under George Petrou. First is that castrati were still around in Rossini's time, although on the decline, and the composer was reportedly intrigued by their voices. Second, Fagioli, unlike the vast majority of other countertenors, studied bel canto singing rather than Baroque repertory exclusively, and a certain distance present in the work of other countertenors is absent here. And third, and most important, is Fagioli's voice itself. Of the countertenors active today, he's the one with the range, the power, the attitude to make you suspend disbelief and think for a moment that you're actually listening to a castrato. He enters into the various Rossini roles represented on this recording, several of which were mezzo-soprano "pants" roles; this adds to the layers of identity-switching happening, and the parts hit Fagioli's vocal sweet spot. A bonus is that several of these are from Rossini opere serie that are little played or recorded. "Semiramide" is one that has continued to hold the stage, however; sample one of Fagioli's arias of Arsace, the Assyrian commander, and marvel at the power and dramatic sense. This could be a breakthrough for Fagioli in the crowded countertenor field.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2016
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947956815
catalogNumber: 002552102
Rank: 93775


  1. Edoardo e Cristina, opera: La pietà che in sen serbate... Come rinascere vi s
  2. Edoardo e Cristina, opera: Ah! Chi sa dimi se la sposa
  3. Edoardo e Cristina, opera: Nel misero tuo stato
  4. Semiramide, opera: Ah, quel giorno ognor rammento.. Oh, come da quel
  5. Semiramide, opera: Eccomi alfine in Babilonia
  6. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Soffri la tua sventura...Amica speme
  7. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: O sacra alla virtù
  8. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Salve, Italia
  9. Tancredi, opera: Dolci d'amor parole
  10. Tancredi, opera: O sospirato lido
  11. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Al trono tuo primiero
  12. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Vieni, tuo sposo e amante
  13. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Questi che a me presenta
  14. Adelaide di Borgogna (Ottone, re d'Italia), opera: Serti intrecciar le vergini
  15. Matilde (di) Shabran, opera: Ah, perché, perché la morte
  16. Matilde (di) Shabran, opera: Sazia tu fossi alfine
  17. Demetrio e Polibio, opera: Pien di contento in seno

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