Contralto Delphine Galou has been principally associated with Baroque opera, especially the operas of Handel and Vivaldi, in historically informed performances. She has sung lead roles in operas by those two composers at major opera houses around Europe. Galou was born in Paris in 1977. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne but took vocal and piano courses privately, and she scored a breakthrough when she was designed "Discovery of the Year" by France's Association for the Promotion of Young Artists in 2004. By that time, she had already sung such roles as Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel (at the Opéra National du Rhin in 2000) and Mercedes in Carmen. After a variety of appearances at regional French houses such as the Théâtre Graslin Nantes and the Grand Théâtre Angers, where she appeared in multiple roles in Ravel's Les enfants et les sortilèges in 2006, Galou sang the role of Eufemia at Germany's Schwetzingen Festival in 2007; that marked the beginning of a move toward Baroque opera. An appearance in the title role of Handel's Giulio Cesare at the Théâtre de Caen established her as a Handel specialist, and she has since performed Baroque opera under several of the top French and Italian historical-performance conductors, including Christophe Rousset, Ottavio Dantone, and Marc Minkowski. In a 2012 performance of Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans at the Misteria Paschalia festival in Krakow, Poland, Galou played not Judith, but her beheading victim, Holofernes. A majority of her performances have been of Handel and Vivaldi, however she has also appeared in operas by Gluck, Britten, and Agostino Steffani, among others. Galou made her debut recital recording, Agitata, on the Alpha label in 2017, and in 2019 she issued a pair of Vivaldi albums on Naïve, Arie e cantata per contralto and Musica sacra per alto.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
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Opera Extracts - Released May 31, 2019 | naïve classique
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
When it comes to prosperity, Vivaldi got pretty lucky. Thanks to a succession of happy accidents, his personal collection of manuscripts has survived through the centuries, allowing his music to be preserved, then later played and recorded. The contralto Delphine Galou and Ottavio Dantone, the director of the Accademia Bizantina, drew from this priceless batch of nearly 450 compositions to develop the program for this album of sacred music pieces dedicated to the alto voice.This new recording of the Vivaldi Edition, begun by NAÏVE many years ago, offers cantatas and arias for viola, functioning as perfect companions for the album of works sung by the same Delphine Galou. The lyrics, often by unknown authors, do not have a strong literary interest. Here, we find a pastoral world populated by shepherds in need of love as well as cruel and fickle nymphs, obeying the cannon of the time.Vivaldi takes advantage of these stereotypical characters to vary his expressive palette in a very subtle way and introduce the operatic style into works primarily intended for living rooms. The exceptional quality of his music generally transcends the commissioned work he is obliged to do, both in Mantua and Venice. These cantatas are accompanied here by some arias from his many operas. They allow Delphine Galou to fully express the variety and range of her singing through the pathetism of Liquore ingrato (Tito Manlio), the sweetness of "Andrò fida e sconsolata" of the same opera or the innocent grace of a childish song in the aria "È pure dolce ad un'anima amante" (Il Giustino). © François Hudry/Qobuz