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Michael Schulman
The WholeNote, August 2016

…Fagioli again thrills as Arbace, with breathtaking coloratura runs. Also excelling in vocal expressiveness and agility are mezzo-soprano Sonia Prina (Artabano) and rich-voiced contralto Rosa Bove (Semira).

Hasse’s Artaserse will please lovers of Baroque opera, superb singing and, especially, the growing contingent of fans of the amazing Franco Fagioli. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Joel Kasow
Fanfare, July 2016

HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse [Opera] (Giustiniani, Schiavo, Prina, Fagioli, Bove, Giovannini, Rovaris) CDS7715
HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2012) (NTSC) DYN-37715

The sound seems slightly subdued on the audio-only support, but that does not detract from the extraordinary performances of Franco Fagioli and Sonia Prina, with Maria Grazia Schiavo not far behind. One might question some of the excessive ornamentation in the da capos, but it is nonetheless exciting. Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani and particularly Rosa Bove fare better on the DVD, as we can watch them. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



John W Barker
American Record Guide, July 2016

HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse [Opera] (Giustiniani, Schiavo, Prina, Fagioli, Bove, Giovannini, Rovaris) CDS7715
HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2012) (NTSC) DYN-37715

Hasse gave all of these roles some dauntingly virtuosic music, and this excellent cast brings it all off admirably. Prina is the best-known singer here, and my long admiration for her may color my praise this time, but her anguished scene at the end of Act II is truly moving. Fagioli, whose character perhaps may be seen as the real hero of the piece, likewise fulfills the possibilities of several crucial scenes. But they are all fine, and they make genuine drama and musical fire out of this seemingly murky melodrama. Rovaris, who directs vigorously from the harpsichord, imparts propulsive momentum all the way. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Charles T. Downey
Ionarts, July 2016

HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse [Opera] (Giustiniani, Schiavo, Prina, Fagioli, Bove, Giovannini, Rovaris) CDS7715
HASSE, J.A.: Artaserse (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2012) (NTSC) DYN-37715

Countertenor Franco Fagioli stands in for that legendary voice, with an impressive sound across the role’s large ambitus, going shrill just at the very top but rock-solid at the bottom, and with thrilling agility in the runs.

Mezzo-soprano Sonia Prina takes on the role of Artabano, created by alto castrato Nicolo Grimaldi (“Nicolini”), who was often cast with the much younger Farinelli around this time. She sounds a little breathless but nails the melismas, with a gorgeous legato sound in the showpiece Pallido il sole at the conclusion of the second act. Maria Grazia Schiavo has a fine turn as Mandane, the role created by soprano Francesca Cuzzoni, matched by mezzo-soprano Rosa Bove as Semira. © 2016 Ionarts Read complete review



Paul-James Dwyer
Toronto Early Music News, March 2016

Fogioli has a tense and mercurial stage presence, he is much in demand for Italian baroque opera productions. Both he and Philippe Jaroussky are considered the crème de la crème of current counter-tenors, for Italian Baroque opera.

The rest of the cast is all top drawer Italian opera singers, well known in 19th century Bel Canto, and mainstream Italian opera world. © 2016 Toronto Early Music News





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