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Cat. No. CHAN 3161 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 3161 - Great Operatic Arias: Cheryl Barker, Volume 21
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Available From: 01 September 2009
Great Operatic Arias: Cheryl Barker, Volume 21

Following her superb Katya in Katya Kabanova, her Emilia Marty in The Makropulos Case, recorded live at the London Coliseum, and her Butterfly for Chandos Opera in English, we were delighted to have enticed Cheryl Barker into our studios to record some fine examples of her dramatic artistry in music both familiar and fresh.   

The repertoire chosen for the solo disc includes works, actually performed by her on stage, as well as arias Cheryl has always enjoyed listening to.  

‘There were two arias that I was very keen to include one was the scene from The End of the Affair by the brilliant American composer Jake Heggie.  I premiered the role of Sarah in Houston and I think this scene is dramatic and fantastically composed.  I am very proud to have recorded the aria Each Afternoon from the Violins of St Jacques by Malcolm Williamson, a fellow Australian.  It is very atmospheric with its simply vocal line.  I have also included some popular arias and some repertoire performed by Dame Joan Hammond with whom I studied with as a student.’  

‘As an English speaker, performing these arias in English means that I can relay the emotions of the arias in my native language and I think it is interesting to an English speaking audience to hear the arias in their native tongue.  Also, it is important to have an accurate translation of the original text and I think in these arias we have that.’

Reviews

"...This is singing from an artist who enters the whole being of the characters she portrays just as the LPO enters the worlds of the eight composers"

The Sunday Telegraph - October 2009

“Apart from her warmly mellifluous voice, Barker has a reputation as an intelligent, thinking soprano, and it shows here. She has a way of bypassing singing as pure technique and arriving at the emotional and psychological truth behind the characters she sings.

As Marguerita in the death scene from Boito’s Mephistopheles she is pungently intense, but at the same time elegant and unforced. The highlight here is her highly charged performance as the vexed Sarah in The End of the Affair, except for what concludes: a wonderfully radiant, transcendent performance of Arabella’s closing scene. It’s glorious Strauss for all lovers of his voluptuously rich, scented art.

Supporting her is wonderfully paced playing from the London Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor David Parry.”
Graham Strahle

The Australian - October 2009

“…it is a pleasure to have her remarkable talents represented on a recital disc. One of the disc’s major positive points is the way it combines familiar and lesser known repertoire. Baritone William Dazeley and soprano Gillian Keith provide excellent support in the ensemble numbers, and the luxury accompaniment from the orchestra, under Parry’s singer-friendly yet spirited direction helps to create an overall impression of high quality.”
John Woods

MusicalCriticism.com

“Cheryl Barker is always clean in her placing of notes and clear in her articulation of the English words. She is ready with a trill, has an ample supply of high notes and (in the Mefistofele aria, for example) reinforces the lower register effectively; Her associates have some additional qualities. Gillian Keith’s light soprano appears pure in tone and evenly produced and William Dazeley (surely one of our best baritones) has an attractive timbre, heard pleasingly throughout. …the orchestral playing is refined and responsive.”
John Steane

Gramophone - Awards Issue 2009

“This is an imaginative collection , combining the well-known (‘Stridono Iassu’from Pagliacci) with rarities such as the Death of Marguerita from Boito’s Mephistopheles. Barker has a voice well-suited to the live opera house with plenty of steel to cut through an orchestra … David Parry and the LPO provide first-class accompaniments, as ever.”
Emma Baker

Classic FM Magazine - November 2009

 

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