Jane Archibald

Haydn: Arias

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Canadian coloratura soprano Jane Archibald's career really only took off toward the end of the first decade of the 21st century, but her ascent was speedy; by the time of this premiere solo recital, recorded in 2010, she had sung at the opera houses of Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Vienna, La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Met. The collection of exceptionally demanding scenes and arias from Haydn's operas offers ample evidence of the solid technique, smart musicality, full, ringing tone, and engaging personality that have made her a rising star. She is absolutely secure from the depths of her range into Haydn's stratosphere, and her voice has a brilliant sparkle throughout. The album is weighted with rapid-fire arias like "Al tuo seno fortunato" from L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice that showcase an agility that allows her to negotiate the florid music with apparent ease, but she is equally effective in long-breathed lyrical arias like "Se la mia stella from Il mondo della luna." Thomas Rösner draws elegant, incisive performances from Orchestre Symphonique Bienne, based in Bern, Switzerland, and they take center stage in the performance of the overtures to three of the operas. It's not an early music group, so the string sound is somewhat larger than what is often heard in 21st century Haydn performances, but the musicians play with the requisite delicacy and attentiveness to balance with the winds. They produce a full, warmly enveloping sound that beautifully supports Archibald's shimmering, soaring voice. Atma's sound is clean, rich, well-balanced, and nicely resonant. Fans of bel canto singing should take note: Archibald is definitely an artist to watch.

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