Seen and Heard International – Bejun Mehta and Danielle de Niese dazzle in La Scala’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto

019-10-25, Seen and Heard International, by Rick Perdian


I first heard Bejun Mehta at a Marilyn Horne Foundation concert early in his career. I thought then that he had the most beautiful countertenor I had ever heard, and time has not altered that assessment. He was joined by two other superstar countertenors, Philippe Jaroussky as Sesto and Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo. Dressed in military garb with short trousers, Jaroussky looked and acted like a geeky boy scout, but his singing was fiery and passionate. Dumaux, bearded and louche, sang with equal bravura and had the richest tone of the three. […]

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KC Studio – Love and Laments: “La storia di Orfeo” with Philippe Jaroussky, Amanda Forsythe and Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble

2019-11-24, KC Studio, by Libby Hanssen

We forget, too often, that love and grief are two sides of the same coin. If you love, you will, eventually, grieve; if you do not grieve, you have not loved.

With the legend of Orfeo and Euridice, we see that inevitability played out. The popular myth, featuring the demi-god of song and a beautiful nymph, proved inspiration for many retellings, including the first opera over 400 years ago. […]

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2019-11-23_02 featured press

Revue L’Opéra – Critique – Fondation Arte Musica- La Storia Di Orfeo, L’œuvre Redessinée De Jarrousky [sic!]

2019-11-23, Revue L’Opéra, by Matilde Legault

La Salle Bourgie avait tous les honneurs de recevoir le 19 novembre dernier l’excellent contreténor Philippe Jaroussky, accompagné par la soprano Amanda Forsythe et le Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble. La direction du concert était aussi assurée par les luthistes Paul O’Dette et Stephen Stubbs, tous les deux étant précédés par leur grande réputation de spécialistes de musique ancienne. […]

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2019-11-23 featured press

Memeteria – La storia di Orfeo: Reframing an Operatic Myth

2019-11-23, Memeteria, by Thomas May

[…] Jaroussky sang with heart-rending eloquence and enormous musical intelligence. His delicately weighted countertenor added a sense of vulnerability not often found in tenor Orfeos, but he fully brought out the role’s passion and despair. In one of the many paradoxes that surround this myth and its musical transformations, his intricate embellishments conveyed overpowering emotional honesty rather than florid artifice — as if these words, in this context, could be expressed only in this way. […]

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Dr Jacques Coulardeau – Jaroussky, le Prophète des Contreténors

2019-11-22, Dr Jacques Coulardeau


Imaginez ce que cela donnera dans vingt ans ou quarante ans. Je ne serai plus là pour l’écouter, encore moins en parler. Mais il va entrer en plein dans cet âge du chanteur, du musicien qui de créateur et interprète devient un maître, un brûleur de pistes dans des forêt inconnues et vierges pour d’autres qui auront le courage de le suivre. Il est vrai qu’il n’est pas seul, qu’il ne sera pas seul dans cette perspective que j’aimerais pouvoir suivre encore pendant quarante ans.
Jouissez de cette beauté. Et c’est la première fois que j’emploie le mot, car c’est un mot creux s’il n’est pas précédé de tout ce que je viens de dire. […]

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2019-11-20 featured press

ludwig van – CRITIQUE | Philippe Jaroussky à la salle Bourgie : quand Orphée traverse le XVIIe siècle

2019-11-20, ludwig van, Montreal, by Benjamin Goron


Leçon de musique et d’histoire, duo envoûtant, orchestre vivant… Ce concert original, qui mettait en lumière l’évolution du mythe d’Orphée dans l’opéra italien du XVIIe siècle, aura permis au public de découvrir l’exceptionnelle Amanda Forsythe, qu’on souhaite réentendre bientôt!

La proposition de Jaroussky nous séduit : le mythe d’Orphée, bien que condensé en une série d’airs entrecoupés de pièces instrumentales, sans mise en scène opératique, n’en révèle pas moins son intensité dramatique. Le pari est une franche réussite.


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2019-11-19 featured press

ICMA – ICMA Jury nominates 390 releases for the 2020 Awards

2019-11-19, ICMA, by N. N.

The ICMA nomination list for 2020 is available. To see the list, just click on our Nominations button, which will lead you to lists sorted by labels or categories. […]

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2019-11-15 featured press

Forum Opéra – Voix de lumière – CD Passion Jaroussky

2019-11-15, Forum Opéra, by Bernard Schreuders

Le plus célèbre des contre-ténors entrait l’année dernière au Petit Larousse illustré, sa statue vient d’être inaugurée au Musée Grévin et un livre d’entretiens avec Vincent Agrech paraîtra en décembre : Warner se devait de marquer le coup pour les vingt ans de carrière de Philippe Jaroussky. […]

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2019-11 featured press

mailchi.mp, OrfeoBlog Chapter 2: Meet Our Leading Man – with Pacific MusicWorks co-Artistic Director Stephen Stubbs

mailchi.mp, OrfeoBlog, by N. N.

OrfeoBlog Chapter 2:
Meet Our Leading Man

with Pacific MusicWorks co-Artistic Director
Stephen Stubbs

There are a few elements of historical performance that, for obvious reasons, ought to remain in the past. In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the majority of male operatic leading roles were written for castrati, who most often sang in the soprano or mezzo-soprano range, and were particularly valued for their virtuosity and almost super-human breath control. Obviously, most modern countertenors don’t fulfill that first basic necessity of the soprano range (most would qualify as altos), but then in the early 2000s a major new talent burst onto the scene in the form of the young French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. Beyond the sheer beauty of his voice and his highly-developed yet instinctive musicality, he possessed two even rarer qualities – the high tessitura of a mezzo-soprano, and the extreme virtuosity that could make sense of the wildest melismas that any baroque composer had devised. Suddenly, the vast repertoire of the castrati had a living advocate that could bring it back to life in our time!

We began our collaboration with Philippe in 2011 when he embodied the virtuoso role of Anfione in Agostino Steffani’s 1688 opera Niobe. How we came to work with Philippe on that project is part of the next chapter, but the result was this: a wildly successful stage production of Niobe by Gilbert Blin for the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival starring Philippe and Amanda Forsythe, followed by a recording on the Erato label which has received much glowing press and prizes, and finally a concert tour of Europe in 2014, (and unquestionably due to Philippe’s status as a European superstar) playing to full houses at some of the best halls in Europe from Madrid to Paris to Amsterdam.

In the next installment of OrfeoBlog, I will share how Amanda Forsythe, one of our favorite leading ladies, was chosen to be part of this exciting partnership. Stay tuned!

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