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Oliver Camacho

Described as "superbly styish" by the Chicago Tribune, tenor Oliver Camacho specializes in baroque repertoire, melodie, and the lieder of Schubert and Schumann. Based in Chicago, Mr. Camacho is the founder and artistic director of The Opera Company and the co-host of the acclaimed OperaNow Podcast.

Iestyn Davies at Wigmore Hall, in Vivaldi’s Griselda, and in Handel’s Messiah: A Review & Artist Overview

September 2, 2011

This summer, I was in one of the last great record stores in North America, (Manhattan’s Academy Records) and I came across both the Iestyn Davies 2009 recital at Wigmore Hall AND the 2009 Stephen Layton/Polyphony Messiah with Davies as alto soloist.  Earlier in that same visit to NY, the publicist for the sexy French record label Naïve gifted me the 2006 release of Vivaldi’s Griselda, boasting a freshman Iestyn Davies in the bit-role of Corrado. Either Handel on his heavenly throne was guiding me to listen to Davies, or I am easy prey for the marketing strategists behind this rising star countertenor…

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Andreas Scholl & Accademia Bizantina O Solitude: A Review

July 5, 2011

If I could marry a song, it would probably be one by Henry Purcell. There are so many favorites from which to choose, and they are all so appealing – at times unabashedly erotic, at other times ravishing in their melancholy, short and perky, intellectual, or flashy with substance. I want to relish every one of them. I am also a huge fan of Andreas Scholl. He is the rarely seen Complete Singer. He always delivers beautiful tone, prepares the music like a scholar, and demonstrates a sense of show business in his stage performances and recordings.

The late 2010 release O Solitude – Songs and Arias by Henry Purcell was poised to be my new international object of love: The greatest English composer of his time (not adverse to employing Italian operatic style and French dance rhythms), performed by today’s leading German countertenor and a sexy Italian band.

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L’Arpeggiata, Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine – 1610: A Review

May 12, 2011

If you don’t know about L’Arpeggiata, it is time for you to catch up. Austrian Christina Pluhar – continuo mistress extraordinaire – with her signature flowing ironed-straight red hair and child-like short bangs framing her porcelain face is the portrait of chic, euro-femininity. A huge fan of her work, I waited in suspense to hear her take on the 1610 Vespers, even though I had spent the better part of 2010 (the work’s 400th anniversary year) listening to it on record and from the pews of chapels large and small.

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Darryl Taylor How Sweet The Sound – A Charm of Spirituals: A review

April 12, 2011

I love hearing erudite, classicaly trained singers extend their technique in Negro Spirituals. The  1990 concert of  Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman singing spirituals with James Levine was one of my earliest inspirations, fascinating to me as a teenaged chorister.  As a fifteen year-old, I realized that this music was powerful, exciting, and infectiously tuneful, and that a singer like Jessye Norman – who seemed so regal, pompous, and affected – became animated and took big risks that felt spontaneous and competitive.

Darryl Taylor’s singing is masterful on this record. He demonstrates long, legato lines, unbelievable breath control, surprising high notes plucked out of the sky…

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Franco Fagioli Canzone e Cantate: A Review

March 1, 2011

Argentinian Countertenor Franco Fagioli’s new recital disc, inconspicuously titled Canzone e Cantate, heralds the arrival of a world-class artist. This is an instant classic… a must-have.  Canzone e Cantate is a recording for fans of countertenors, the Italian baroque, continuo bands, bel canto vocal pyrotechnics, and especially for fans of Cecilia Bartoli. You read correctly – Cecilia Bartoli…

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Philippe Jaroussky Opium: A Review

January 1, 2011
Philippe Jaroussky "Opium"

Reviewer Oliver Camacho was both skeptical and enthusiastic about this late 2009 release of French mélodies. It is comprised of French mélodies that collectively feel like a meal made of flakey pastries; however, they individually delight in the same way. Could a countertenor d’agilità pull off a 66 minute recital of belle-époque parlor songs that have previously been the domain of the great Gérard Souzay, Pierre Bernac, and Maggie Teyte?

In a word, Ouais…

Young countertenors take note that you need not be confined to Handel and Caldara if you can do it all as well as the featherweight champion.

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