A disc of Handel opera arias from Roberta Invernizzi is remarkable because, surprisingly, it breaks new ground for the Milanese soprano. True, she has taken part in complete operas on disc as on stage, and has recorded arias by other composers of the time such as Vivaldi, Leo, Porpora, Feo or Mancini (Arias for Domenico Gizzi and I Viaggi di Faustina being two recent albums).
Invernizzi’s majestic sweep of Handelian queens - Cleopatra, Berenice, Arianna and Alcina, among them - takes us through a chequered period in the composer’s career, when he led the two Royal Academies of Music in the 1720s and 1730s. At this time, he was writing for magnificent and tempestuous divas such as Francesca Cuzzoni and Anna Maria Strada del Pò – a selection of their roles is to be heard on this new Glossa recording.
These are choppy waters through which Roberta Invernizzi sails with unquestionable skill: in complete control of her native language and dominance of Handel’s stylistic demands all allied to her lustrous vocal tones. Sympathetic accompaniment is from Fabio Ciofini and his Accademia Hermans, which works extensively in the Perugian Teatro Cucinelli in Solomeo.
- - - - -
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Scherza in mar (from Lotario)
Se mai turba il tuo riposo (from Poro)
No che servire altrui (from Berenice)
Traditore, traditore (from Berenice)
Giulio Cesare : Overture
Piangerò la sorte mia (from Giulio Cesare)
Tu la mia stella sei (from Giulio Cesare)
Da tempeste il legno infranto (from Giulio Cesare)
Che sento?...Se pietà di me non senti (from Giulio Cesare)
Scoglio d'immota fronte (from Scipione)
Ah! mio cor! (from Alcina)
Quel torrente (from Giustino)
- - - - -
“Invernizzi is often in top voice here. Her coloratura is electrifying; one can’t imagine a more commanding Berenice in ‘Scoglio d’immota fronta’. She handles pathos exquisitely, as in Alcina’s unaccompanied opening of ‘Ah cor mio, schernito sei!’ which Invernizzi delivers in a straight tone, like a low moan. The musicianship of all the performers is impeccable…a sovereign performance, worthy of its original Queens”
“Few sopranos are better equipped to sing this repertoire stylishly, attractively and with subtle characterisation than Roberta Invernizzi”