In her third album for Alpha Classics, American mezzo Kate Lindsey explores themes of power, corruption, and tyranny through the baroque repertoire. The programming is canny – she offers up works by composers Scarlatti, Handel, Monteverdi and Monari that take audiences into the mind of Nero, his mother Agrippina, and wife Poppea.

Kate Lindsey

Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea will be the most familiar to audiences, with Lindsey presenting four selections from the opera. The most striking of these is Ottavia’s Addio Roma , bitter and full of recrimination. Like in her first recorded foray into the baroque for Alpha, 2020’s Arianna , Lindsey demonstrates stunning technical control and agility throughout, as well as an alertness to the text that is on full display here. She makes Ottavia’s great lament almost overwhelmingly physical, seeming to gasp for breath in the face of her unjust exile. 

The duet Pur ti miro , which features the gorgeous singing of soprano Nardus Williams, is a juxtaposition...