This dazzling solo debut album is a heavenly match of artist and repertoire, deftly husbanded by musicologist Yannis François, who has already made a name for himself working with Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński. Here François takes five female leads from Handel operas and pairs an aria from each with one sung by their equivalent in a contemporaneous opera, thus providing a kind of psychological mirror image refracted by the considerable artistry of Trinidadian soprano Jeanine de Bique. 

Jeanine De Bique

De Bique is truly a singer of baroque music for our times, marrying bell-like clarity with beguiling richness throughout her range, making her an ideal exponent for this passionate music. She takes no prisoners in the curtain-raiser, Tra le procelle from Graun’s Cesare e Cleopatra , displaying glittering coloratura amidst rapid but brightly focussed passagework. By contrast, Handel’s Se pietà di me non senti sees Cleopatra in suppliant mood, allowing de Bique to spin soft, achingly beautiful tone into the stratosphere.  

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