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Classical - Released September 9, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diamant d'Opéra - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera Extracts - Released January 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This album isn't just for fans of the counter-tenor's voice - Franco Fagiolo being one of the stars in the market - but also for lovers of the airs from Handel’s operas, and any serious baroque orchestra enthusiast, the orchestra here being Il Pomo d'Oro. When you unite all these elements together in a recording, the result is spectacular. This record includes the thrills of big hits like "Ombra mai fu" from Serse or "Cara sposa" from Rinaldo, as well as a number of no-less-interesting rarities, which have the advantage of shining a light on the lesser played works of the caro Sassone. After all, Ariodante, Partenope, Imeneo and Oreste (the album covers the composer's entire period of lyrical creativity) all have some great moments, and completely original airs, often loaded with the instrumental surprises that Handel arranged so well. And so, fans, if all three of the big elements are there - or if you are just curious to hear a very well made record - get stuck in! © SM/Qobuz
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 29, 2014 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diamant d'Opéra - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released November 2, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
Handel's 1738 opera Serse (Xerxes) baffled audiences at first hearing with its mixture of tragedy and comedy, but that same mixture has resulted in the opera's steadily rising status in performance today. If you're maxed out on athletic opera seria performances, check it out: it has elements of a put-on of that genre. The plot is kicked off by Serse, the king of ancient Persia, praising a shade tree in the famous aria "Ombra mai fu," whose tune is also known as Handel's Largo. The role of Serse is written for a male countertenor (originally the castrato Caffarelli), who has to keep a level of seriousness as his character becomes involved in increasingly improbably romantic triangles. The key to any spoof is a veneer of seriousness, and if the liquid tones of countertenor Franco Fagioli in "Ombra mai fu" were not enough, then the edgy sound of the historical-instrument group Il Pomo d'Oro under director Maxim Emelyanychev will snare you for the rest. This is a studio recording but is closely based on a 2018 production at the Barbican in London, and there are moments of stage business that don't come through fully in the recording medium. The cast, however, is uniformly strong, with American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux in the male role of Serse's brother Arsamene, and Latvia's Inga Kalna as one of two sisters in love with Serse. The whole group makes the most of Handel's anonymous but trenchant libretto in what may well become a standard reading of this late Handel opera. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released August 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 30, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released September 30, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released May 8, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
Too often confused by journalists or distracted music lovers with the Italian Renaissance genius, Leonardo Vinci was an eighteenth-century Neapolitan Baroque composer whose reputation stems mainly from his thirty-seven operas composed for the great castrates of his time and performed at the Royal Chapel of Naples where he was the successor to Alessandro Scarlatti. After his album devoted to a selection of arias by Handel, Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli chose a dozen arias from Leonardo Vinci’s operas, more than half of which are world premieres. These include voluptuous and virtuosic arias from Il trionfo di Camilla, Gismondo, re di Polonia, L’Ernelinda, Alessandro nell’Indie and Medo.. Vinci’s operas were often tailor-made for the “stars” of an era that worshipped singers, just as it was done much later for film actors. The arias in Il trionfo di Camilla were originally composed for the prima donna Faustina Bordoni and those in Medo for the illustrious castrato Farinelli. The magnificent pastoral aria “Quell’usignolo ch’è innamorato de Gismondo” evokes a nightingale song with two compulsory recorders. This music is full of life and dramatic expression, reborn here with participation of il pomo d'oro ensemble, headed with virtuosity by its concertmaster, the Bulgarian violinist Zefira Valova. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Classical - Released November 2, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
Handel's 1738 opera Serse (Xerxes) baffled audiences at first hearing with its mixture of tragedy and comedy, but that same mixture has resulted in the opera's steadily rising status in performance today. If you're maxed out on athletic opera seria performances, check it out: it has elements of a put-on of that genre. The plot is kicked off by Serse, the king of ancient Persia, praising a shade tree in the famous aria "Ombra mai fu," whose tune is also known as Handel's Largo. The role of Serse is written for a male countertenor (originally the castrato Caffarelli), who has to keep a level of seriousness as his character becomes involved in increasingly improbably romantic triangles. The key to any spoof is a veneer of seriousness, and if the liquid tones of countertenor Franco Fagioli in "Ombra mai fu" were not enough, then the edgy sound of the historical-instrument group Il Pomo d'Oro under director Maxim Emelyanychev will snare you for the rest. This is a studio recording but is closely based on a 2018 production at the Barbican in London, and there are moments of stage business that don't come through fully in the recording medium. The cast, however, is uniformly strong, with American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux in the male role of Serse's brother Arsamene, and Latvia's Inga Kalna as one of two sisters in love with Serse. The whole group makes the most of Handel's anonymous but trenchant libretto in what may well become a standard reading of this late Handel opera. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
The Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli, with his mighty voice, has always been easy to imagine as one of the castrati with whom Handel contended at the height of his operatic career. He brings both power and flair to fast passagework, and that doesn't change here in such arias as Venti, turbine, prestate, from Rinaldo, HWV 7a. What's different this time is the expertise Fagioli brings to the slow numbers. For the most part, Fagioli does not essay unusual repertory here, except in the final Ch'io parta?, from Partenope, HWV 27, which elegantly ends the program on a question and frames the whole thing nicely with the opening aria from Oreste, HWV A11. For the most part, though, Fagioli sticks to familiar territory, and he lays claim to it. Sample the intense but understated performance of Ombra mai fu, from Act One of Serse, HWV 40, which seems to allude to its suppressed emotion rather than laying it on the line. The historical-instrument group Il Pomo d'Oro, here under violinist Zefira Valova, is sensitive to Fagioli's moods, even if Deutsche Grammophon's sound from Lonigo's Villa San Fermo is too chilly. A highly recommended prime-of-career release from Fagioli. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 8, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Classical - Released August 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released December 15, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released February 1, 2011 | Carus

Booklet
Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli first came to wide public attention when he won the 2003 International Singing Contest Neue Stimmen and recorded his first solo album the same year. In this 2010 release, Canzone e Cantate, Fagioli displays an even more secure technique and a broader expressive range. His voice has darkened (in contrast to the prevailing trend for light tone exemplified by countertenors like Philippe Jaroussky) and expanded its tonal colors. His use of vibrato is freer than is typical for this repertoire, giving his voice an almost bel canto bravura quality in the more dramatic arias, which listeners, depending on their tastes, may or may not find appealing, but it is certainly striking. Fagioli has chosen a diverse program ranging from early Baroque songs by Frescobaldi, Monteverdi, and Benedetto Ferrari to solo cantatas by Handel and Vivaldi and a late 18th century aria by Paisiello. He is joined very capably by lutenist Luca Pianca, cellist Marco Frezzato, and harpsichordist Jörg Halubek. The album feels more like a collaborative venture than a traditional solo recital with accompaniment and includes a harpsichord prelude by Handel, an anonymous courante for lute, and a trio sonata by Geminiani. This expressive repertoire offers ample opportunities for each performer's individuality to shine, and the results are delightful. Carus' sound is clean, detailed, and warmly intimate. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 30, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Booklet
Countertenor performances of 19th century opera are a historical and, ultimately, true novelty. This said, for those who love the sound of the countertenor voice and want to give it a try, there are several factors that recommend this release by countertenor Franco Fagioli, with the small orchestra Armonia Atenea under George Petrou. First is that castrati were still around in Rossini's time, although on the decline, and the composer was reportedly intrigued by their voices. Second, Fagioli, unlike the vast majority of other countertenors, studied bel canto singing rather than Baroque repertory exclusively, and a certain distance present in the work of other countertenors is absent here. And third, and most important, is Fagioli's voice itself. Of the countertenors active today, he's the one with the range, the power, the attitude to make you suspend disbelief and think for a moment that you're actually listening to a castrato. He enters into the various Rossini roles represented on this recording, several of which were mezzo-soprano "pants" roles; this adds to the layers of identity-switching happening, and the parts hit Fagioli's vocal sweet spot. A bonus is that several of these are from Rossini opere serie that are little played or recorded. Semiramide is one that has continued to hold the stage, however; sample one of Fagioli's arias of Arsace, the Assyrian commander, and marvel at the power and dramatic sense. This could be a breakthrough for Fagioli in the crowded countertenor field. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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