‘Bell stamps her bold artistic mark on a group of peerless Handel arias. Magnificent stuff.' Classic FM
Choice: ‘A ravishing recital that heralds what promises to be a great career on disc.' Gramophone
‘But come Rodelinda's lament Ombre piante and rapture takes over, the beauty softened, the steel turned to sensuous velvet.' The Independent
‘Quite simply Emma Bell gets better and better. This sparkling recording confirms her reputation as one of the most exciting of the younger generation of Handelians.' BBC Music Magazine
CD of the Week: ‘Emma Bell has the precious gift of creating a vivid, flesh-and-blood sound.' The Sunday Telegraph
‘Her agility and seemingly weightless, nimble delivery bring a freshness to all 11 arias on this disc.' The Herald
Handel: Operatic Arias sees soprano Emma Bell perform with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, directed from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr, in her second recital album for Linn. Emma Bell rose to fame when she took over the title role in Handel's Rodelinda at five hours' notice for Glyndebourne on Tour in 1998 while still a student at the London Opera Centre; Bell's delivery of that heart-piercing aria, 'Se'l mio duol', a highlight of her performance, is included here. Early performances as Tigrane in Radamisto and Almirena in Rinaldo, as well as that unforgettable Rodelinda, make it very fitting that Bell's first operatic recital recording should be devoted to Handel. The well-chosen extracts sample the whole of Handel's London operatic career, from his first (Rinaldo, 1711) to his last (Deidamia, 1741), and demonstrate his (and the singer's) wide range of moods, from defiance to resignation, from love to the wilder shores of hatred.
Originally released in 2005 Handel: Operatic Arias has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue.
View the booklet in full here.