Recording of the Week, Kate Royal
Soprano Kate Royal has been known to classical music enthusiasts for a few years now. She won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 2004 and made her Glyndebourne debut (Pamina - filling in for a sick Lisa Milne) the same year. You could say then that her debut album (released today on EMI) has been a long time coming. But it is certainly worth the wait.
As is typical of many debut recitals the repertoire is rich and varied. Nine different composers are represented (all of a late romantic/early 20th Century style) with a wide range of emotional demands thrown at the singer. I wouldn’t say she has yet mastered all of them, but her French and Spanish repertoire in particular is stunning - lovely hushed tones beautifully contrasted by exciting full of life passages. Her voice is rich and colourful and she seems to have a rare ability to get ‘under the skin’ of the text and really convey the meaning of what she is singing about.
UK readers might have seen her on BBC1 late last Friday on the Proms replay from a week or so ago where she accompanied Ian Bostridge in a couple of Handel duets and also sang an aria by herself. I have to say I was slightly disappointed by her performance then, but don’t be put off by that as there is no Handel on the new disc and maybe in a few years, with a bit more purity and continuity of tone she’ll be able to master that as well!
In the mean time this disc comes very highly recommended, and thanks to EMI’s commitment to help discover new artists it is yours for under ten pounds.
Available Formats: MP3, CD Quality FLAC