October 26, 2017

Opera News’ Critic’s Choice: Carnevale 1729

“… she shows complete technical mastery …”

We are proud to share with you that our release of Carnevale 1729 performed by Ann Hallenberg, Stefano Montanari , il pomo d’oro is Opera News‘ critic’s choice for October 2017! The Carnival of Venice in 1729 was quite unlike any other.Several of the most fashionable composers rose to the occasion, writing ravishing music for spectacular productions which often pitted the singers against each other in breathtaking displays of virtuosity. Read a passage of the review below.

MEZZO CECILIA BARTOLI pioneered a kind of album for which she would unearth, research and perform—in suitably stylish conditions—overlooked Baroque arias by composers not named Handel. Several countertenors and mezzos have followed suit, including Ann Hallenberg, a Swede who maintains a high-profile career in Europe but has sung just a smattering of concerts in North America. She remains a relatively well-kept secret here.

Collectors would do well to seek out Hallenberg’s growing discography. This exceptionally rewarding new release explores the Venetian Carnival season of 1728–29, when competing theaters presented a noteworthy infusion of new and repurposed music (recontextualization and pasticcio having been common operatic practice at the time). Many leading composers were represented, and some of the era’s vocal superstars were on hand, including the soprano Faustina and castratos Senesino and Farinelli. The resulting music’s difficulty reflects their expertise, panache and expressive potential.

David Shengold

photo by Minjas Zugik

Read the full review on Opera News – October 2017