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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a pretty face
Danielle de Niese is not quite an overnight success, but if her performance as Cleopatra in Handel's "Giulio Cesare" at Glyndebourne brought her to the attention of British audiences, it was this disc of Handel arias which really made her name with the record-buying public. It has, in truth, taken me a while to get round to listening to the disc and I have to say that I'm...
Published on 11 Dec. 2011 by M. Joyce

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aria
I wanted to see what my speakers could do with a good voice. and I don't have many vocals and arias in the classical category. Most of the CD's in the collection are vocal Jazz's, especially Sara K, Taylor Livingston, Kenny Rankin and the likes.

Danielle's video is quite astonishing and her free and 'exposed' expression is what made me purchase the CD. When you...
Published 18 months ago by B. Waruna Gomis


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a pretty face, 11 Dec. 2011
By 
M. Joyce (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
Danielle de Niese is not quite an overnight success, but if her performance as Cleopatra in Handel's "Giulio Cesare" at Glyndebourne brought her to the attention of British audiences, it was this disc of Handel arias which really made her name with the record-buying public. It has, in truth, taken me a while to get round to listening to the disc and I have to say that I'm impressed, even if her performances are relentlessly bright and, dare I say it, "sexy"; it would be foolish to pretend that looks have not played a significant role in the marketing of this artist, but her voice and, indeed, her artistry are of the very highest order too. The fact that the accompaniment is courtesy of William Christie and his marvelous Les Arts Florissants is testimony to her talent. Orchestrally, therefore, as well as vocally, this disc is a delight from start to finish. The expected tracks from "Giulio Cesare" are here, of course, and Miss de Niese finds Semele another congenial role; indeed, as I have already implied, my only real criticism is that it is all a little relentlessly bright. And be warned; the sleeve-notes, full of her looking gorgeous, are a touch OTT...pass the sick-bag, Doris! A bargain, nonetheless.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera therapy, 29 May 2008
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
Australian born (1980) American soprano Danielle de Niese has been singing opera since she turned professional at the age of 15. At age 19 she played Barbarina in `Le Nozze di Figaro' with Renee Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli and Bryn Terfel, and she played the title role in Ravel's `L'Enfant et les Sortileges' as well as appearing in the Puccini operas `Gianni Schicchi' as Lauretta and `Falstaff' as Nannetta.

It was after her portrayal of Cleopatra in Handel's `Giulio Cesare in Egitto' at the 2005 Glyndebourne Festival though that she started to find international fame. She appeared in Rameau's `Les Indes Galantes', Gluck's `Orfeo ed Euridice', played roles of Poppea in Monteverdi's `L'incoronazione di Poppea' and Despina in Mozart's `Cose fan tutte' to name just some. This impressive background should help prevent her name appearing in the continuing `she is not an opera singer' debate.

This debut solo CD is a collection of Handel arias, including her Cleopatra role in Giulio Cesare, and the baroque style gives her a chance to put her personality into the music and make it her own. To hear Danielle's passionate style of singing is to experience only part of her exciting and individual style. Describing her as `a performer of charismatic good looks and stage presence' (Opera News) I think is a conservative understatement. Better words which have been used are `sexy, saucy, seductive and sassy' and the excellent album sleeve notes by Roger Pines sum up her personality perfectly:

`Danielle de Niese creates electricity the moment she steps on stage. It's impossible to ignore her stunning face and figure, physical grace, and total assurance as an actress...her shimmering lyric soprano projects an irresistible sparkle, a palpable joy in performing'.

(She also played the leading role - singing 'Vide Cor Meum' - in the short but chillingy sublime opera scene in the 2001 film 'Hannibal'. Once seen and heard, never forgotten.)

The 36 page CD booklet also provides notes on William Christie's baroque ensemble `Les Arts Florissants' (including players names) and translations to English of the works libretti, and to complete the package there's some absolutely gorgeous pictures of Danielle.

A wonderful debut album by a hugely entertaining opera singer.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good debut from Glyndebourne star., 29 May 2008
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
Danielle de Niese cements her growing reputation in the operatic world with this collection of arias from Handel's operas.

It is perhaps no surprise that the 27-year old singer, best known for her show-stealing performance in David McVicar's 2005 production of Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne (available on an excellent DVD that I can highly recommend), chose material either from or very similar to her current operatic repertoire for her debut disc.

Wisely, she was also able to secure the services of William Christie, conductor of that famous Glyndebourne performance, to assist her. On this disc William conducts the "Les Arts Florissants" orchestra with some aplomb.

The result is a very good CD which I would say is better musically than vocally.

As a stage performer Danielle takes some beating as her talent for dance movement and acting can raise an operatic performance to a very high level. On this studio CD she is more exposed. Whilst her performance is in general vivacious and colourful, I feel that her soprano tone is occasionally harsh and unable to eke out all of the emotion inherent in the music. Also, on some of the quieter arias her aspiration provides a slight distraction.

Churlish criticisms perhaps, but there is excellent competition in the market for discs of Handel arias (for instance, the late mezzo Hunt-Lieberson's CD with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is pure joy), so I think I have to adjust the star rating accordingly.

Nevertheless, a fine debut from an excellent young artist.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic debut, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
This is a very good debut recording from an upcoming soprano. Being a big admirer of Baroque and Handel my expectations were rather high, and it isn't quite as good as the recordings of Ruth Ann Swenson or Magdalena Kozena, but she is still a force to be reckoned with. Although the voice isn't quite as securely agile in this repertoire, she is very good at investing each aria with individuality and character. Still a very enjoyable recording and after having fallen in love with her as Cleopatra I'm looking forward to hearing more from her.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel as he should be sung, 22 July 2008
By 
M. Porter (Chattanooga, TN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
Hey, can this lady sing!!!
Pumped through expensive speakers on my old steam driven amplifier and CD player, her voice rocked the room. It was like being visited by half a dozen different women. Cleopatra popped in a couple of times to tell me her woes. Alminera sang of her despair (far, far better than most I have heard). Medea appeared to tell me of her love and her jealousy. I thought that Armida's anger was going to bring the walls down - boy that girl is ANGRY. Semele, falling under Zeus' spell captivated me and was captivated. One, of course, shouldn't be sexist but to be treated to the sight of such a beautiful woman appearing as all these beautiful women would, indeed, be a pleasure. I, unfortunately, can't afford Glyndebourne but will get the DVD and enjoy! If you can't afford either Glyndebourne or the DVD get this!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel Heaven, 3 April 2009
By 
M. Pearson "Eagle Eyed" (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
I never really got Handel until I purchased this disc. But now I'm totally hooked.

I can't really comment on comparisons with other singers but if one of the main measures of musical success is communication then Ms de Niese gets straight A's all round. The selection of arias allows her to showcase her exceptional talents both musically and theatrically. I have many favourites but I would pick Myself I shall adore from Semele as a personal highlight.

Of course the wonderful William Christie and the outstanding orchestra of Les Arts Florissants really bring this music alive in their characteristic way.

A wonderful disc with many moments bordering on the truly sublime.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Handel Arias, 27 April 2009
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Anne Matthews - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
Danielle de Niese and William Christie produce together simply wonderful Handel. This CD is delightful and I recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
wife loves it
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 31 Mar. 2014
By 
Prospero77 "Prosp77" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
This CD simply gets better every time I listen to it. If, like myself, you are fairly inexperienced when it comes to Baroque Opera/Oratoria I can think of no greater gift than Danielle's Handel Arias, quite beautiful.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Danielle de Niese - Handel Arias, 5 Aug. 2009
By 
Mr. Geoffrey O. Platt "Geoff Platt" (Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias (Audio CD)
I bought this CD after watching the BBC2 programme 'The Birth of British Music - Handel.' This young lady has an astonishing voice and her interpretation of each aria is so fresh. You can see her lovely smile as you listen. She is the 'find of the year' for me. I only wish the BBC would issue the series on DVD.
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Danielle de Niese ~ Handel Arias
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