You know how sometimes there’s been a really awesome party going on for like, years, and you don’t find out about it because you’re a doofus? And then you find out about it and it’s ok and you’re allowed to join and all is well?
Well, I felt a bit like that recently. I stumbled on soprano Roberta Invernizzi completely by accident while looking for — of all things! – Gluck’s version of La Clemenza di Tito. I am quickly becoming a fan. Here she is singing “da tempeste” from Giulio Cesare:
I have heard this aria so. many. goddamn. times. and yet I enjoyed this from beginning to end. All three times that I listened to it. The personality is distinct, the technique is bang on, and she adds – all the best sopranos do! – her own little touches here and there that prevent one’s brain from going on autopilot the way my brain can do with something so familiar. The orchestra is also more than worth the price of admission – I was listening in particular to the violins during the repeat of the A section.
(Though I admit, that bit in the B section where Cleopatra has that repeated-note ornament at one of the repetitions of “torna l’anima a bear” always, permanently, makes me think of Danielle de Niese singing that while miming shooting a machine gun. It is just the way things are.)