"...Archibald’s debut solo recording argues Haydn’s case. Included are 10 coloratura excerpts and three overtures from five Haydn operas. The voice is clear with clean, articulate, effortless runs - necessary ingredients for any coloratura. Haydn’s vocal writing is often instrumental in nature, like woodwind parts, and Archibald negotiates the quick turns confidently. But, in the most lyrical sections, she also captures the conflicting emotions with a strong sense of drama and expression. The voice is lovely throughout, though I did find that sometimes she applied a bit too much vibrato for the 18th-century style. Recorded in Switzerland, her partners here are the Orchestre Symphonique Bienne with conductor Thomas Rösner, so this disc will not be considered Canadian content by CRTC rules. The Swiss orchestra is capable, with strong woodwind playing, but overall I found they didn’t match the energy and sparkle of Archibald. Articulation needed to be more detached, with crisper attacks and more spring to the bows. Now that her career is moving closer to home, I hope we will see Archibald recording with Canadian orchestras and musicians."
Rick Philipps - Opera Canada - 1 July 2011
Artistic Quality 8 Sound Quality 8
"...This well-chosen program of arias (and overtures) from Haydn’s operas shows off her many gifts. She’s a marvelous technician, with absolutely fluid coloratura ... This is a terrific group of performances of arias that you don’t get to hear very often ... Archibald is a charming artist: may we hear her Zerbinetta? The playing of the Orchestre Symphonique Bienne under Thomas Rösner is sensitive and appealing, and the recorded sound is excellent. "
Robert Levine - ClassicsToday.com - 17 July 2011
"Papa Haydn was an extremely successful musician - and not just by the standards of his era. He was, one could argue, the first musical entrepreneur. In the period of transition from "composer as a servant" to "composer as an artist" he took advantage of the circumstances to sell his works many times over and ended up a wealthy man. He also had a dramatic impact on the development of the Western European musical idiom and established his symphonies as ideals aspired to by many. It was however during his 20 years of service to the Duke Esterhazy when Haydn wrote over 20 operas. Most of them have disappeared from the standard repertoire, but like so many works of Papa Haydn, once brought back, they have a lot of staying power. I am talking here of the comedic Il Mondo della Luna, the classic Orlando Paladino and his last opera, yet another take on the story of Orfeo et Euridice, written in the year of Mozart’s death. Arias from these and other operas are brought to record by the Canadian coloratura soprano, Jane Archibald. Although a fair musical distance from her typical repertoire of Zerbinetta, Musetta, Olympia and Queen of the Night, they provide a showcase for her vocal agility and provide a foreshadowing of the COC performances of next season as Zerbinetta ans Semele. An added bonus of the CD is the inclusion of overtures, played beautifuly by the Swiss Bienne Symphony, presided over by Thomas Rösner, a very talented Viennese maestro."
Robert Thomas - The Whole Note - 1 May 2011
***½ (out of 4)
"Nova Scotia native soprano Jane Archibald left Toronto a half-dozen years ago a promising young wannabe. This week, she returns as a rising European opera star to sing Zerbinetta in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, opening Saturday. She arrives bearing her first solo album, devoted to the little-known operas of Joseph Haydn. Archibald shows off a spectacular instrument and gorgeous technique in eight arias and one recitative from five operas. She is nicely supported by the rich textures conductor Thomas Rösner teases from the Orchestre Symphonique Bienne in this Swiss recording. The three overtures included on this generous disc give the instrumentalists further opportunity to show off Haydn’s rich orchestrations. This is a treat from beginning to end."
John Terauds - The Toronto Star - 26 April 2011
Roberto Brusotti - Musica magazine - July/August 2012
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