Soprano Jodie Devos, who has signed with Alpha for several recordings, here pays homage to Offenbach, whose bicentenary of his birth is celebrated in 2019. This programme shows Offenbach’s fascination with the vocal fireworks of coloratura divas. This kind of ‘lyric coloratura’ or ‘soprano leggero’ voice runs like a thread through most of the composer’s oeuvre, from his first pieces for two or three soloists to those grand frescoes of his maturity, La Vie parisienne, Robinson Crusoe, and Orphee aux Enfers. The coloratura soprano also adorns Offenbach’s less frivolous operettas (such as Fantasio), as well as his only serious opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, in which the roleRead more of the doll (with only one aria, but what an aria!) is among the most famous in the entire French repertoire. Concocted collaboratively with Alexandre Dratwicki and the Palazzetto Bru Zane, this recorded programme- tailor-made for Jodie Devos- presents innumerable rarities from Mesdames de la Halle, Boule-de-Neige, Un mari a la porte, Le Roi Carotte, Le Voyage dans la lune, and Vert-Vert. In the famous duet, Oiseaux dans la charmille, she is joined by up and coming mezzo-soprano Adele Charvet.
The main thing to say about Devos – and her thoroughly idiomatic partner-in-frolic, Laurent Campellone – is that she (and this is a huge compliment) delivers all that is required of her, and more, with the apparent ease of one who knows how important it is to conceal the difficulty. The real kicker with this album is the way in which number after number springs its surprises. The vocal pyrotechnics are artfully designed to make one’s jaw hit the floor.