There has been a buzz around soprano Julie Roset, who won the Metropolitan Opera's Laffont Competition in 2022 and released several albums while still in her early twenties. Much of her training was in early music, and in this field, she is a major upcoming figure. Roset's voice is not a big one, but the degree of control she wields over it is exceptional. Consider the "Ad te clamamus" from the Salve regina, HWV 241, where her knife's-edge vibrato-less singing defines Handel's daring leaps in a rather scary way. Her on-pitch lines extend almost, but never beyond, the line where they would become uncomfortable, and then they bloom into very carefully sculpted vibrato. There's a synergy here, between a bold young singer and a bold young composer, of a kind that rarely occurs. The music on the album is early Handel, in Latin, from his Roman period, and it is a perfect fit with Roset's burgeoning talent. There are other attractions: the sacred cantatas Handel wrote in opera-outlawed Rome are not often played, and the Gloria heard here wasn't established as a genuine Handel work until 2001. The music shows the big, public Handel style in development in a fascinating way, and the work by conductor Leonardo Garcia Alarcón and the curiously spelled Millenium Orchestra is excellent; Garcia Alarcón seems aware of the distinctive profile of Roset's voice and shapes the orchestral lines to match it. The sound environment of the Namur Concert Hall is ideal. Roset is destined for success.
Handel: Salve Regina Review
by James Manheim