Roberta Invernizzi: Vivaldi
Readers familiar with Glossa’s mainly excellent series of Handel cantatas, composed for Cardinal Pamphili and Marchese Ruspoli, will know that La Risonanza and the soprano Roberta Invernizzi form a rewarding partnership. So it proves in a sequence of 14 arias from nine Vivaldi operas encompassing his quarter century, from 1713 to 1738, as an opera composer and impresario.
Invernizzi’s choice of arias is musically discerning. She unites bravura pieces such as Latin knight Lucio’s ‘Combatta un gentil cor’, from Tito Manlio, with others of a tenderly reflective character, such as Servilia’s deeply felt ‘Tu dormi in tante pene’ from the same opera. One of Invernizzi’s virtues is her ability to be fluently articulate and expressive, both in show-stoppers and arias that call for compassion, contemplation and reflection. Unlike some of her rivals, she always resists playing to the gallery.
Her technique and sense of theatre are tempered to meet the requirements of the music, making for a musically rewarding as well as dramatically engaging recital. I miss the affecting juxtaposition of keys afforded by hearing these recitatives and arias in context, but it’s a small price to pay, since Invernizzi’s performance entices you to explore the operas themselves. She gains sympathetic support from La Risonanza, particularly in the aria ‘Se mai senti spirarti sul volto’ (Catone in Utica), which should win her new friends – and a wider audience for Vivaldi opera.