As a good representative of his time, Johann Christian (the English) Bach, composed in almost every genre and profusely. At first sight, it seems he delivered approximately 40 operas, most currently lost and, to my knowledge, only 'Amadis de Gaula' (1779, French!) recorded.
Zanaida (1763) is one of those turkish stories that composers from Gluck to Rossini entertained with their inspiration. Whoever decided to rescue such obscure utterance deserves praise; Opera Fuoco, Maestro Stern, and eveyone involved in making this recording a success. With so much composed then, this is a glimpse at the era between JS Bach and Mozart, huge musical change when you realize that not many years before this was composed, Papa Bach was still delivering chorales and cantatas in pure Baroque fashion.
So this is no mozartian masterpiece, but it makes for a fun time listening to quite a variety of voices, especially the five sopranos. Nice differences amongst their timbre and sound make for a truly varied ride. There are also nice orchestral touches, especially from the horns, and the sense of occasion is evident: small scale but very live and vivid.
This is soprano's Sara Hershkowitz first recording, and for someone who had the joy of hearing and meeting her while following her career for the last four years, I am truly at awe of her accomplishments and hope her carreer follows the ascendance that she deserves, as an artist and the beautiful human being that she is.
I hope that this adventure proves so successful that the label Zig-Zag explores further, similar possibilities. This one is a winner.