Christopher Ainslie “remarkable” as Arne’s Artaxerxes

28 February 2011

After having triumphantly sold out every night at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Linbury Theatre in 2009, the first complete recording of Artaxerxes has just been released to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Arne and critics are praising Christopher Ainslie.

Stephen Pettitt of The Sunday Times commented that “Christopher Ainslie is outstanding in the title role”.

Jamie MacDougall made the recording his ‘Disc of the Month’ on BBC Radio Scotland saying that “this recording features stunning performances from some of Britain’s top young Baroque singers, including the remarkable countertenor Christopher Ainslie in the title role”.

John T. Hughes of International Record Review says that “some of the best singing comes from Christopher Ainslie in the title-role. In Act 1, Artaxerxes has a lovely solo, ‘Fair Semira’, which reveals how unforced is his vocalism… [he] is also agile enough in more ornate music”.

Geoffrey Alton of Opera Now says that “now [Artaxerxes] appears on this stylish, beautifully produced recording” and that “countertenor Christopher Ainslie gives a muscular performance in the title role”.

Kenneth Walton of The Scotsman says that the disc feature “such vocal treasures as Christopher Ainslie (Artaxerxes)” and that it is a “classy, crystal clear recording”.

George Hall of BBC Music Magazine says that Artaxerxes “here is presented complete and to a consistently high standard. The very fine cast enters with spirit into the text’s convoluted scenario of love and betrayal in ancient Persia and delivering the notes with assurance”.

Richard Lawrence of Classic FM says that “Christopher Ainslie as Artaxerxes woos with honeyed tone”.

To find out more about the disc and to listen to Christopher Ainslie sing Artaxerxes, please click here.

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