The program on this release by baritone Matthew Rose is innovative and useful in a couple of different ways. First, although performers have sometimes tried to bring 18th century opera to life by programming arias written for specific singers, this has usually been applied to countertenors. They were generally the stars, it's true, but they weren't the only ones. The Italian comic baritone Francesco Benucci was one of the leads of Joseph II's Italian opera company, the original Figaro, and the original Leporello in Don Giovanni in the Vienna premiere (the second production).
Tutto Buffo, Paolo Bordogna's debut solo release on Decca, is a generous collection of comic bass-baritone arias by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, and Nino Rota. Accompanied by the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini under Francesco Lanzillotta, Bordogna gives an engaging recital that emphasizes the exceptional vocal skills required to make these roles truly musical and not just parts played for laughs.
]Yoshikazu Mera born May 21, 1971, in Miyazaki, Japan, is a Japanese countertenor. His range is three and a half octaves. Originally wanting to become a pop singer, Mera now primarily sings classical music from the West but also classical Japanese music. He appears frequently as a soloist with the Bach Collegium Japan, which under its conductor Masaaki Suzuki performs Baroque music. His 1998 recital disc "Nightingale" on Sweden's BIS Records was a major success in Japan.
One of the brightest stars in the 20th-century operatic firmament, the Pennsylvania-born soprano Anna Moffo (1932–2006) enjoyed a meteoric rise in the 1950s and 1960s that saw her conquer all the major opera houses in Europe and America. After making her Metropolitan Opera début in 1959 as Violetta in La traviata, she went on to appear with the company in 200 performances of 21 roles over a total of 18 seasons, before finally singing her last complete performance – once again as Verdi’s Violetta – and retiring from the stage in 1976. Specially released to mark the 10th anniversary of Anna Moffo’s death, Sony Classical releases for the first time, newly mastered from the original analogue tapes using 24bit/96kHz technology.
The magnificent Christopher Purves performs a recital of Handel’s bass arias. This unique collection demonstrates the range and brilliance of Handel’s writing for this voice, featuring a selection from Italian and English operas, English classical drama, Biblical oratorios, literary odes and a masque. Handel’s endlessly imaginative gift for characterization is fully explored here, with Purves commanding an extraordinary emotional and technical range from the buffo blustering of Polyphemus in Acis and Gatalea to the loving musings of Abinoam in ‘Tears, such as tender fathers shed’ from the oratorio Deborah.
When Luciano Pavarotti died in September, the world lost one of its finest voices. The 'King of the High Cs' was sought after by all the major opera houses in his early career. International superstardom came with his Three Tenors and Pavarotti and Friends concerts. His version of Nessun Dorma was used for the BBC's coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. This portrait uses archive and the memories of his closest associates- including Jose Carreras, Dame Joan Sutherland and Juan Diego Florez.