Launched in 2017 by conductor Ian Page as an extension of his internationally renowned period ensemble Classical Opera, The Mozartists release their first recording on 5 May on Signum Classics. ‘Perfido!’ is a collection of concert arias by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven sung by soprano Sophie Bevan.
Bevan has emerged as one of the leading Mozart singers of her generation, and in recent years she has performed the roles of Ilia (Idomeneo), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has worked with Ian Page and Classical Opera every year since 2005, and her previous recordings with the company have included ‘Blessed Spirit’ – a Gluck retrospective (Wigmore Hall Live) and roles in several of their ongoing complete cycle of Mozart operas on Signum Classics – Hyacinthus (Apollo et Hyacinthus), Der Weltgeist (Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots), Sifare (Mitridate, re di Ponto) and most recently the title role in Zaide.
The programme of ‘Perfido!’ was devised by Ian Page and comprises concert arias by the three greatest composers of the classical era. It begins with Haydn’s magnificent Scena di Berenice, composed in London in 1795 for the celebrated dramatic soprano Brigida Giorgi Banti, and culminates with the three great arias composed for the famous Czech soprano Josefa Dušek – Mozart’s “Ah, lo previdi” and “Bella mia fiamma” and Beethoven’s “Ah! perfido”. Other featured arias include Mozart’s “Oh, temerario Arbace”, composed when he was just ten years old, and Beethoven’s “No, non turbati”, created as part of the composer’s studies in Vienna with Antonio Salieri.
Ian Page says:
“I have never understood why these works are not more widely known and more frequently programmed. Each one is a mini-opera in its own right, full of dramatic intensity, dynamism and exquisitely sculpted melodies that represent the composers at the height of their powers. They feel tailor-made for Sophie’s voice and artistry, and we had a very enjoyable and rewarding time making this disc.”
‘Perfido!’ follows the critically acclaimed ‘Where’er You Walk’, a programme of arias for Handel’s favourite tenor John Beard performed by Allan Clayton, recently shortlisted in the ‘Recording (Solo Recital)’ category in the 2017 International Opera Awards. The release complements Classical Opera’s ongoing recording series of the complete operas of Mozart on Signum Classics, as part of which a new recording of Il sogno di Scipione is scheduled for release in October.
Sophie Bevan studied at the Royal College of Music in London and won the Critics’ Circle award for Exceptional Young Talent in 2010, The Times Breakthrough Award at the 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Young Singer award at the inaugural International Opera Awards in 2013. She became an Associate Artist with Classical Opera in 2007 and her appearances under the direction of Ian Page have included Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Gluck and J. C. Bach programmes at Wigmore Hall, Publio in the UK premiere of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito, and Silvia in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba.