Roberto Alagna, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro & Pedro António Avondano Lead CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week, albums of French song, Monteverdi, and two rarely performed works will be made available. Additionally, audiences will get a chance to hear new releases from one of the great tenors and one of the great interpreters of Monteverdi’s works. Here is a look at what you can stream this week.


Naive releases a new recording of L’Orfeo, which was staged in Paris and Toulouse at the end of 2019. The new interpretation stars Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Emőke Baráth, Natalie Pérez, Alix Le Saux, Jérôme Varnier, Mathilde Etienne, Nicolas Brooymans, Fulvio Bettini, Zachary Wilder, Juan Sancho, and Alicia Amo and is a recording that pays careful attention to the vocal lines, which are richly ornamented and highly contrasted in their dynamics and moods.

In a press release, Toro said, “Vocal music represents the vast majority of compositions written in the Renaissance. Instruments were still subordinate to the voice, and sought either to double or to imitate it. In the model of polyphony still prevalent at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it is the tenor that ‘holds’ the ensemble together, the etymological meaning of the word (from Latin tenere). The poet Orpheus sings to his own accompaniment on the lyre. Monteverdi translates this image by replacing the lyre with the entire orchestra. It is the singer’s task to provide the impetus that will accompany the inflections of the text. In mythology, Orpheus guides the Argonauts’ ship, giving the oarsmen their rhythm with his song. It is he who reduces the Sirens to silence, he who sets the course. It is the singer who is the conductor, and the orchestra is his great ship.”

Il terzo libro de’ madrigali

Rinaldo Alessandrini, who has dedicated his career to the music of Monteverdi, releases a new album dedicated to the composer’s works on Naive. The new recoding features Francesca Cassinari, Monica Piccinini, Sonia Tedla, Maria Chiara Gallo, Elena Carzaniga, Andres Montilla, Raffaele Giordani, Gabriele Lombardi, and Salvo Vitale.


Naxos releases André Messager’s elegant romantic comedy from the Opéra Comique’s December 2019 production. The production, by Denis Podalydès of the Comédie-Française stars Cyrille Dubois, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Franck Leguérinel, and Jean-Sébastien Bou. Louis Langrée conducts the rarely performed work.

Il Mondo della Luna

Naxos releases the world premiere recording of composer Pedro António Avondano’s “Il mondo della luna.” The porugese opera stars tenor Fernando Guimarães as the astronomer, bass Luís Rodrigues as the gullible geezer, sopranos Susana Gaspar, Carla Caramujo, and Carla Simões, tenor João Pedro Cabral, and bass João Fernandes. The Portuguese early-music group Os Músicos do Tejo is led by its founders Marta Araújo and Marcos Magalhães.

Le Chanteur 

Roberto Alagna has released a new album of French songs on Sony Classical. In a press release, the tenor noted, “This is the first album I have made devoted entirely to French song. I think this is no more than my French listeners deserve. We have made numerous journeys together, from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to South America with Pasión, from Italy to the United States with Little Italy, but I thought it was finally time to play the music of our own native land, too. That’s why I am dedicating this album in its entirety to French song, but with a twist. Between the lines, as it were, in this repertoire, I have sought to highlight all the variety of genres and influences from near and far that are now intrinsic elements of French musical identity and heritage. As many are no doubt aware, I am passionate about different musical cultures from all over the world. As we explore the French repertoire, we shall make many musical discoveries on our travels.”


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