In his first recital for harmonia mundi, Bejun Mehta, the American countertenor, has chosen highlights from the repertoire of the famous castrato Senesino, accompanied by René Jacobs and Freiburger Barock. Bejun (b.1968) is a protegée of René Jacobs and has been sponsored by Marilyn Horne. He made his opera debut as a countertenor, having been inspired by David Daniels, as Armindo in a New York City Opera production of Partenope. Stage rôles have included Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano, Ottone in Agrippina and Endimione in Le Calisto.
+ BONUS DVD: OMBRA CARA 'MAKING OF'
NTSC 16.9, Subtitles, Fr, Ger, Total time: 15’25”, Interview in English
“Mehta's disc towers above the other Handel 'medley' recordings currently fashionable among opera stars. Musicality and a brilliant intelligence emanate from every track...This is not just an aria collection, but a celebration of genius, in composition and performance alike.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010 *****
“Mehta's way of listening to the orchestra around him, and either allowing his singing to stand out in relief, or to meld with the instrumental textures, produces wonderfully variegated effects and ever-changing perspectives...Mehta's beauty of tone and musical intelligence confirm his position in the highest echelon of contemporary countertenors” The Guardian, 23rd December 2010 *****
“...a superior musician at the peak of his vocal powers. He has luxury support from the Freiburg Barockers and Jacobs, himself a former countertenor and a no less imaginative Handelian. The icing on this sumptuous cake is the gorgeous duet from Sosarme, in which Rosemary Joshua’s voice blends ideally with Mehta’s. A treat from start to finish.” The Times, 2nd January 2011 ****
“Mehta's singing can be astonishingly good...his precise coloratura in direct faster arias is superb...The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra plays excellently, particularly during a passacaglia from Rodrigo.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011
“Mehta deals with and vanquishes any vocal difficulties, for his voice is like a well-oiled engine...[He] employs the colours of his voice skilfully...He is among the best of countertenors, and Handelians should relish these performances. In every piece, the orchestra produces instrumental colour and stylish playing, be it from trumpet or lute. Jacobs lends a wise and experienced hand.” International Record Review, January 2011