Italian bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo returns to the start of his international career with his new Deutsche Grammophon recording of Mozart arias. He is joined by conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino for a selection of both popular and rare opera and concert arias, available September 13th in advance of his performances at the LA Opera in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte.
“Mozart is my god,” says Ildebrando D’Arcangelo simply. “He is the composer who inspired in me the passion for music and my career.” Right from the bass-baritone’s 1994 breakthrough performance in Parma as Leporello under Gardiner which established the young singer as a velvet-voiced charmer, to the recent triumphant addition of Don Giovanni to his repertoire, Mozart has been central to the singer’s work. “I feel that he is my ‘house composer’, and I think – I hope – my voice is ready to do him justice.”
D’Arcangelo sings Mozart regularly and has performed in the composer’s operas around the world for almost 20 years. It is no surprise then to find arias from Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan Tutte on the disc. These have been and remain the cornerstone of D’Arcangelo’s performance repertoire. In fact, he will make his LA Opera debut as Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte this September.
The album also includes a number of concert arias. “They’re not often sung because of their difficulty,” explains the soloist. “You need a huge vocal range and considerable agility. But I love a challenge.” Per questa bella mano (a lover’s vow of fidelity) was written for Franz Gerl, the first Sarastro in The Magic Flute. The aria features an obbligato double bass, a rather unusual choice especially with such virtuosic writing that demands technical brilliance and musical maturity from both the instrumentalist and singer.