Forte and piano with Roberta Invernizzi (Wigmore Hall, 21 July 2015)
Roberta Invernizzi soprano
Fabio Bonizzoni harpsichord | La Risonanza strings
Yesterday I had an vivacious evening at Wigmore Hall with Leander and friends: deconstructing the Aix-en-Provence Alcina over fruit tarte, singing praises to Roschmann’s Mozart and wondering if an oboe or a flute wouldn’t have made La Risonanza’s sound more varied. As it was we had to contend with strings (the plucking was very welcome) and harpsichord (which I enjoyed a lot in the jaunty Rete, lacci e strali adopra).
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Da due venti from Ercole su’l Termodonte RV710
Ombre vane, ingiusti orrori from Griselda RV718
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Overture from Rodrigo HWV 5
Se mai senti spirarti sul volto from Catone in Utica RV705
Rete, lacci e strali adopra from Dorilla in Tempe RV709
George Frideric Handel
Piangerò la sorte mia from Giulio Cesare in Egitto HWV17
Sinfonia from Dorilla in Tempe RV709
George Frideric Handel
Ritorna, o caro e dolce mio tesoro from Rodelinda HWV19
Da tempeste il legno infranto from Giulio Cesare in Egitto HWV17
Leggi almeno, tiranna infedele from Ottone in villa
Armatae face, et anguibus from Juditha triumphans
I came across Invernizzi via the last encore presented here and in a slighty roundabout way. If I’m not mistaken, thadieu pointed to her interpretation as an example of the wrong way of doing this aria 😉 I’m as curious about rubbish as I am about gold, so I clicked. Surprise! I was in favour of what I heard: scenery chewing of the take no prisoners kind.
I immediately liked her very personal way of singing the bravura arias. The way she negotiates coloratura feels very abstract. The forte and the piano both come out very strongly to the point where you don’t feel that much in between. But the forte and the piano are balanced in such an exquisite way that the effect is powerful and deliberate. Though succint, the characterisation is energetic and unequivocal, leaving little doubt as to the mood of the character.
As soon as the first aria ended I thought she would cope rather well with Armida’s Furie terribili. Technically she sounds very good, with fearless leaps of great precision that not even once caused her any trouble. But later something else emerged. If the top is built more on power than on beauty, the lower end has an unexpected warmth that made Caio’s Leggi, almeno unexpectedly seductive in ways I tend to associate with mezzos rather than sopranos.
Invernizzi is due back at Wigmore Hall next June with ladies Prina and Gauvin, which has the potential of a very exciting show.