Roberta Invernizzi has become one of the outstanding voices of Baroque music in modern times, contributing with her crystalline soprano and an unfailing dramatic sense to the rediscovery of much neglected music, from Italy in particular. Hailing from Milan, Roberta Invernizzi’s music studies initially encompassed the piano and the double bass before she took up singing under the guidance of Margaret Heyward, later specializing in both Baroque and Classical era music.
Invernizzi’s talent for characterization has been superbly demonstrated across the Gramophone Award-winning series of recordings on Glossa of Handel’s chamber cantatas in Italian with Fabio Bonizzoni, through her visceral and vivid portrayals of Arcadian characters from goddesses and nymphs to shepherdesses. Her prowess there led Fabio Bonizzoni to write recitatives with her in mind for his creation of a pasticcio opera in Gli strali d’Amore, with arias by André Campra. The flamboyant revival in recent years of music from the Neapolitan Baroque led by Antonio Florio and I Turchini owes much to Roberta Invernizzi’s contributions, whilst on the opera stage diverse roles in recent years have seen her perform in Handel’s Rinaldo and Agrippina, Vivaldi’s Ercole sul Termodonte and Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and L’incoronazione di Poppea (as well as in Mozart, Grétry and Berton). Reactions from the international press have praised her singing for its “intensity and delicacy, her control of pitch and phrase production”, her “great radiance of tone” as well as frequent notes of approval for her sensitivity, refinement and subtlety.
In addition to her presence in the Handel Cantatas series (there is also a “Portrait” release, Handel in Italy) and the Campra Gli strali d’Amore, Invernizzi’s long-standing musical partnership with Fabio Bonizzoni and La Risonanza has led to a disc of both well- and lesser-known opera arias by Antonio Vivaldi with Invernizzi cast very much in the solo spotlight. Invernizzi regularly works also with other leading conductors of the music of Vivaldi such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alan Curtis and Fabio Biondi, among others.
When setting out on their new collection of recordings dedicated to the musical travels of famous singers from the past, entitled ‘Sirene’, Antonio Florio of I Turchini and Dinko Fabris could have considered no other, no better voice from today than that of Roberta Invernizzi to assume the starring role. Invernizzi has, after all, played a crucial role over the years in many of I Turchini’s concert programmes and recordings devoted to Neapolitan music of the Baroque and beyond. With these Viaggi musicali di celebri cantanti the leading Italian musical scholar Fabris and his colleagues are recreating for the modern listener the musical soundworlds of singers who helped forge opera as we know it today: these were the musicians who trekked across Europe at the specific requests of composers, impresarios or audiences to add glitz and star quality to new productions. One such was Faustina Bordoni, whose performing career lasted from 1716 to 1751, starting off in her native Venice before criss-crossing Europe. She appeared in court and public opera houses alike whilst becoming one of the greatest singers of her time (and getting involved in a very modern series of spats with fellow soprano Francesca Cuzzoni). On this new recording from Glossa made in Naples (the setting for important triumphs for Bordoni), Roberta Invernizzi, Antonio Florio and I Turchini recapture the lustre of 18th century opera – in music rarely, if ever, heard today, from composers such as Leonardo Vinci, Domenico Sarro, Nicola Porpora and Francesco Mancini – with a video from the sessions being available on YouTube. To set the scene for this new collection Dinko Fabris talks about the dramatic times of Faustina Bordoni, 18th century Naples and Roberta Invernizzi. [read more...]
Roberta Invernizzi is very clearly one of the finest sopranos to be heard today in the Baroque - and especially the Italian Baroque - repertory, as evidenced by the beauty that she brings not only to operatic roles and vocal roles which have been essayed by many other famous singers both on record and in performance, but also by her sense of clarity in and characterization of unknown music from the 17th and 18th centuries. The rediscovery of so much Italian music is a reflection of the labour and artistry of numerous musical minds but as a kind of prima donna inter pares the Milanese soprano stands out from many others for the intensity of her approach, to the point that she is emerging as a new muse for other distinguished modern-day practitioners of the Italian Baroque such as Fabio Bonizzoni and Antonio Florio who contribute here their own thoughts on the artistry of Roberta Invernizzi, adding to the soprano’s own considerations about her musical life.[read more...]
Having entranced audiences across Europe with their performances of the music which Georg Frideric Handel wrote during his time in Italy – mainly in Rome – between 1706-9, and having also delighted record buyers with the seven-volume series of “Le Cantate Italiane di Handel”, released on Glossa, Fabio Bonizzoni and his singers and musicians of La Risonanza have now gone on to impress the jury of the 2011 Gramophone Classical Music Awards. On October 6, at a ceremony held in The Dorchester hotel in London, the British magazine bestowed upon the Italian musicians a prestigious Gramophone Award in the Baroque Vocal category, for the final volume in the Handel series, Apollo e Dafne (a recording which contains two further cantatas, Agrippina condotta a morire and Cuopre talvolta il cielo as well as the title work). The singers on this disc were soprano Roberta Invernizzi and the two basses Thomas E. Bauer and Furio Zanasi. [read more...]
As talented as Fabio Bonizzoni is in performing music from across the Baroque spectrum – witness his Glossa recording of Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge – he has become increasingly celebrated for his interpretations of music from Italy. This embraces not only the music of native composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti (the Serenate a Filli album) but, of course, the series of Handel Cantatas in Italian, Lully’s Ballets et récits italiens and now there is a pastiche opera with music by André Campra (born in Aix-en-Provence, but whose father was from Turin). The new recording, Gli strali d’Amore sees Bonizzoni and La Risonanza joined by haute-contre Cyril Auvity and bass Salvo Vitale as well as Bonizzoni’s fellow Milanese musician, the soprano Roberta Invernizzi, whose career as a solo star – as opposed to as her being an ensemble singer – is now starting to blossom (as they say, watch this space...). [read more...]
Fabio Bonizzoni’s attention on record to the music of Handel - which has, thus far, yielded seven discs devoted to the early Italian-texted cantatas - has just now had the good fortune to receive this year’s Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize for Apollo e Dafne, the final release in the present series for Glossa. This is the third time that Bonizzoni and his period-instrument ensemble La Risonanza have won this prestigious prize for their series of “Le Cantate Italiane di Handel” (previous winners were the first release, Le Cantate per il Cardinal Pamphili and the fifth, Clori, Tirsi e Fileno); three other recordings have also featured as runners-up. [read more...]