WORKS: The Mozart Experience: operatic excerpts
PERFORMER: Inger Dam-Jensen, Lynne Dawson, Della Jones, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, François Le RouxROH Orchestra/Nicholas McGegan
CATALOGUE NO: 75605 55031 2
A flavourful mix of familiar and less familiar repertoire makes this a perfect Mozart opera survey for newcomers, while the artistic level makes it attractive to seasoned Mozartians too. Every selection reveals a particular facet of the composer’s theatrical career – from early efforts to the great works of his maturity. Conducting the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan’s historically enlightened hand draws finely delineated performances – and some delicious ornamentation – from all involved.
Dam-Jensen sings meltingly in ‘Ruhe sanft’ (Zaide) and ‘Deh vieni, non tardar’ (Figaro). Jones’s vibrant timbre recalls the fruity Mozartian style of the late American soprano Eleanor Steber in arias like ‘Voi che sapete’ (Figaro) and ‘Parto, parto’ (La clemenza di Tito). Dawson contributes a rapturous ‘Si, ma d’un altro amore’ (Ascanio in Alba). Rolfe Johnson sings ‘O wie ängstlich’ (Die Entführung) and ‘Un aura amorosa’ (Così fan tutte) with a finely sculpted line. Le Roux, who sings with a touch of buffo bass gaiety, knows how to manipulate vocal and textual colour to make an aria like ‘Hai già vinta la causa’ (Figaro) into a splendid piece of acting. Barrymore Laurence Scherer