01 Jeanine de BiqueMirrors
Jeanine De Bique; Concerto Koln; Luca Quintavalle
Berlin Classics (berlin-classics-music.com)

Mirrors is Trinidadian soprano Jeanine De Bique’s debut album. Accompanied by the renowned Baroque orchestra Concerto Köln, with musical direction by Luca Quintavalle, the album focuses on Baroque arias and includes three world premiere recordings.

De Bique’s album reflects her unique style and personality in a well-crafted concept. Her flawless technique is impressive and includes carefully sculpted notes and stunning articulation amid invigorating Baroque rhythms and flying high notes. De Bique, a seasoned Handel performer, was also given the freedom to play with and create new ornamentation for each aria.

Developed in collaboration with musicologist Yannis François, the concept of the album is that of looking through a broken mirror; different settings of the same libretti are placed side by side on an album for the first time. Mirrors juxtaposes Handel’s operatic heroines Alcina, Cleopatra, Deidami, and Rodelinda with the same characters’ arias from the works of Riccardo Broschi (brother of famed castrato Farinelli), Carl Heinrich Graun, Gennaro Manna and Georg Philipp Telemann, each prominent opera composers of their time. The arias of Mirrors are meant to relate key moments in the psychological development of each heroine, thereby also opening a window into the varied female experience. In the liner notes De Bique writes that this project allowed her to sing from a place of vulnerability and that she was “given the opportunity to be a voice for women across the ages who are still trying to find spaces to free their voices, and for those ready to reclaim their autonomy.”

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