Many notable vocalists have turned their attention to Italian Baroque music in the last few years resulting in a vast supply of recordings to choose from. Yet, in this abundance of riches soprano Patricia Petibon stands out as the rare artist who combines a uniquely beguiling and agile voice with the dramatic instincts of a true actress. Rosso, her second recital album for Deutsche Grammophon, is a dramatic tour of late 17th and early 18th century Italian vocal music.
The period of music covered in the present recital produced some of the most remarkable and memorable arias ever written. Whether testing the limits of virtuoso technique or singing long melodies in one endless breath, these arias expose the very nature and limits of a singer’s voice. Patricia Petibon has easily mastered the technique required and has freed herself to focus on the dramatic elements of each aria. With selections by Handel, Scarlatti, Porpora, Stradella, Sartorio, Vivaldi and Marcello, Ms. Petibon covers a number of individual styles within this period of music.
While focused on conveying the text as well as the emotional content for each aria, Ms. Petibon displays her rare gift of being able to act through the voice. Throughout the fourteen selections on this recital, Ms. Petibon summons to vivid life a wealth of characters tangled up in the power plays of gods, kings, witches and devils. In a recent profile, Opera News observed: “Her voice is certainly suited to Baroque music; though it is striking, beautiful and unusually versatile, its strength is its sensitivity, rather than its size … But it's clear that she has no intention of allowing Fach stereotypes to hold her back: her artistry is all about breaking the mold.”
Ms. Petibon is joined by the vibrant Venice Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Andrea Marcon. A regular presence on the Deutsche Grammophon label, the Venice Baroque Orchestra has garnered universal praise for their fearless style and thrilling performances. According to NPR, “Today, the group is recognized as one of the world’s most adventurous and dramatic period-instrument ensembles.” Having worked with such artists as Giuliano Carmignola, Magdalena Kožená, Viktoria Mullova, Simone Kermes and others, the ensemble also performs numerous concerts devoted to music of the Italian Baroque.