In the 18th century, when Händel staged the revolution that made opera receptive to the audience's tastes, everything revolved around the sopranos and, above all, the castrati, who aroused a frenzy and enthusiasm in their admirers comparable to that displayed by present-day pop music fans.
Since the gradual revival of the early 18th century operatic repertoire, we have been able retrieve a type of voice that seemed lost to 21th century audiences: that of the castrati. When the works of Händel and his contemporaries first became a regular feature of opera seasons, sopranos and mezzos were cast in castrati roles. But now that the phase of rediscovery is over, audiences have become more discriminating and demand voices as close as possible to the originals. Hence the great vogue for sopranists and countertenors such as Bejun Mehta, a singer who enjoys veritable star status.
George Frideric Händel: arias from Amadigi; Riccardo Primo, re d’Inghilterra; Agrippina; Orlando; Radamisto; Admeto, re di Tessaglia and other works.
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