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TESS CREBBIN reports on a new release by 'The Archangel', plus other BMG projects


Good news for fans of the Archangel. Usually jetting around the world from one prestigious opera house to the next, he will be making a new CD -- Ildebrando d'Arcangelo is recording a BMG Classics/RCA Red Seal release later this year: the Verdi Requiem with the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

The annual BMG Classics Press Conference at the Rudolf Budja Gallery, Salzburg, 6 August 2004. Photo: Rudolf Budja
The annual BMG Classics Press Conference at the Rudolf Budja Gallery, Salzburg, 6 August 2004. Photo: Rudolf Budja

The singer with the intriguing name is known for being elusive but his lyric bass and bass-baritone voice (he effortlessly sings both) is 'beyond praise', to quote a Sunday Times critic. So it came as no surprise that at the annual BMG Classics press conference, at the Rudolf Budja Gallery in Salzburg on 6 August 2004, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt was there, as was tenor Michael Schade who will also appear on the CD, and missing was ... the Archangel. Making himself rare as usual, but celebrated by audiences wherever he appears, d'Arcangelo has name recognition of almost 100% -- people rarely forget the name, the voice, or the fine dramatic elements that go hand in hand with his singing.

Born in Pescara, Italy in 1969, 'The Archangel', as he is fondly being called in the opera world, began his studies in 1985 with Maria Vittoria Romana before he moved on to Bologna to continue with Paride Venturi. In 1989 and 1991 he won the Tatti del Monte singing competition, which led to his first opera appearances as Don Alfonso (Mozart's Così fan tutte) and Masetto (Don Giovanni). So convincing was his impact that, ever since, he has been singing and impressing on the world's opera stages: the Met, Scala, Covent Garden, Bastille, Vienna, Salzburg -- you name it, they've invited him. He has worked with all the finest conductors, among them Chailly, Abbado, Hogwood, Muti, Solti and Harnoncourt, and his recordings have all received great critiques, as has his DVD of Rossini's Tancredi. When he does make a CD then it is only with the best: Cecilia Bartoli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, for instance, and now Harnoncourt and Schade on BMG.

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Copyright © 12 August 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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