Rufus has always had a deep-rooted passion for opera and has written his very first opera Prima Donna in 2009, which will now for the first time be recorded on disc! Prima Donna is slated for release on 11 September, tying in with concert performances of the opera in Europe and Asia. The 2nd album, which is on the significant release schedule, is a collection of songs based on Shakespeare sonnets, sung by Anna Prohaska, Rufus himself, and a surprise female guest star name to be announced soon
Canadian superstar soprano Karina Gauvin pays tribute to baroque diva Anna Maria Strada del Pò, singing rarities by Vinci, Vivaldi and some of the greatest Handel arie di bravura. Like Strada del Pò in her prime, Miss Gauvin sings this repertoire with powerful expression and brilliant technique, in particular, the trills for which Strada del Pò was renowned. More than thirteen opera roles were created by Handel for Strada del Pò (including Sosarme, Orlando, and Alcina). Strada del Pò’s talent and style may have influenced the composer’s work as much as he contributed to the vocal and dramatic development of the prima donna in the first decades of the 18th century.
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano accompanied by various other participants including the Pianisten, Orchestras & famous Conductors cover the classical great composers.
This extensive 10 disc boxed set is part of EMI’s Icon line – a series of which I am becoming a very big fan. This respect and affection has increased with every new set I have become acquainted with. The present collection, like the others, includes a broad selection of songs and arias from widely dispersed dates. One can learn a good deal about post-war singers from listening to some of these albums including figures such as Giuseppe Di Stefano, Tito Gobbi and Franco Corelli.
Although he created a decadent glam rocker image through early albums like The Human Menagerie and The Psychomodo, Steve Harley soon revealed a romantic heart beating beneath all the artsy sleaze on singles like "Judy Teen" and "Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me)." This 1976 album, the last studio outing Harley would record under the Cockney Rebel banner, allowed him to give full vent to his romantic thoughts via lushly crafted songs about the travails of love. Love Is a Prima Donna features two of Harley's finest songs in the title track, a bracing song that features the writer waxing comical about the pitfalls of love over a briskly paced pop tune that fleshes out its pub-piano melody with flamenco guitar and a choir, and "(Love) Compared With You," a delicately orchestrated love ballad that manages to be touching and heartfelt without lapsing into sappy sentimentality. This album also produced one of Harley's biggest hits with an arty, synthesizer-laced cover of the Beatles' classic "Here Comes the Sun".