ATMA Classique Releases Karina Gauvin's PRIMA DONNA Album

ATMA Classique Releases Karina Gauvin's  PRIMA DONNA Album

On September 25, 2012, ATMA Classique announces the release of Prima Donna, the latest recording by Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin. The CD, which is a tribute to Handel’s muse, the baroque diva Anna Maria Strada del Pò, features the Arion Baroque Orchestra led by guest conductor Alexander Weimann. Prima Donna includes rarities by Vinci, Vivaldi and some of the greatest Handel bravura arias.

Born in Bergamo, Italy, Anna Maria Strada del Pò was active as a singer from 1719 to 1741, and made her London debut on December 2, 1729 in Handel’s Lotario. During her career, the composer created no fewer than thirteen roles for her, including Elmira in Sosarme, Angelica in Orlando and the title role in Alcina. She also sang in eleven revivals-- often with arias reworked especially for her (such as in Flavio), as well as oratorios. Strada del Pò was one of only three singers for whom Handel wrote a high C. The soprano’s talent and style may have influenced the composer’s work as much as he contributed to the vocal and dramatic development of the prima donna in the first decades of the 18th century.

Karina Gauvin has impressed audiences and critics the world over with her luscious timbre, profound musicality and wide vocal range. The Globe and Mail calls her “one of the dream sopranos of our time.” The Sunday Times in London wrote, “Her glinting soprano, bright-edged yet deliciously rounded and sensual, is used with rare understanding for character.” Ms. Gauvin’s repertoire ranges from the music of J.S. Bach to Luciano Berio, and her discography for ATMA Classique has included more than 10 recordings featuring music by Bach, Britten, Fauré, Handel, Mahler, Mozart, Popora, Poulenc, and Purcell. Upcoming recording projects for Ms. Gauvin include a live concert recording of Handel’s Messiah with Tafelmusik scheduled for October release; a new disc of Mozart arias for ATMA Classique; and a recording of Giulio Cesare also featuring contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux on the Naïve label.

Ms. Gauvin’s upcoming performances in 2012 include the Tanglewood Music Festival on August 22; a European tour of Vivaldi’s Gloria with the B'Rock Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent in September; Rodelinda with Il Complesso Barocco at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris and Madrid in October; the Green Music Center Sonoma, CA, October 13; Vancouver Symphony, November 10-12; and Charlotte Symphony, November 16-17. From November 30 through December 2, Ms. Gauvin will sing in the Handel and Haydn Orchestra Society’s performances of Handel’s Messiah in Boston. Ms. Gauvin appears with the ABC Melbourne Symphony, Australia from December 14-16, 2012. Performances in 2013 include the Luminato Festival Toronto, June 18; Societe d'Art Vocal, June 27; the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on July 29; an evening of Mozart arias with Orchestra National de Bordeaux 2013, plus appearances at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Munich Staatsoper, Netherlands Opera and Théâtre des Champs Elysées in 2013-2014.

Karina Gauvin has sung with major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Accademia Bizantina, Il Complesso Barocco, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Musica Antiqua Köln, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy. On the operatic and concert stage, she has performed with conductors as diverse as Charles Dutoit, Kent Nagano, Semyon Bychkov, Roger Norrington, Alan Curtis, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Andrea Marcon, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bernard Labadie, and Christophe Rousset. Also active as a recitalist, she has collaborated with several chamber music ensembles and with pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Michael McMahon and Roger Vignoles. In addition to Karina Gauvin’s solo discs produced by the ATMA Classique label, many of her recordings have been nominated for a Grammy and have won prizes at the JUNO and Opus awards. More recently, her characterization of Manlio in Vivaldi’s opera Tito Manlio on the Naïve label with the Accademia Bizantina under Ottavio Dantone was called “riveting” by Opera News. Other notable recordings of Handel operas include Ariodante with Joyce DiDonato for Virgin Classics, and Ezio, Tolomeo, and Alcina on Deutsche Grammophon with Il Complesso Barocco, conducted by Alan Curtis.


1 Scherza in mar [Adelaide • Lotario HWV 26] George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
2 No, non potra [Angelica • Orlando HWV 31] George Frideric Handel]
3 Verdi piante [Angelica • Orlando HWV 31] George Frideric Handel]
4 Tortorella se rimira [Ermione • Astianatte] Leonardo Vinci (1696-1730)
5 II — Adagio [Concerto grosso op. 3 no 1 HWV 312] George Frideric Handel
6 Dite pace [Elmira • Sosarme HWV 30] George Frideric Handel
7 Addio caro [Rosanne • La Verità in Cimento, RV 739] Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
8 Da te parto [Emilia • Flavio HWV 16] George Frideric Handel
9 Ouverture [Lotario HWV 26] George Frideric Handel
10 Ah Ruggiero crudel [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34] George Frideric Handel
11 Ombre pallide [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34] George Frideric Handel
12 Si, son quella [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34] George Frideric Handel
13 II — Adagio[Concerto grosso op. 6 no 8 HWV 326] George Frideric Handel
14 Ah mio cor [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34] George Frideric Handel
15 Care selve [Meleagro • Atalanta HWV 35] George Frideric Handel

Founded in 1981, Arion Baroque Orchestra is the only early music orchestra performing on period instruments in Québec and one of the most renowned early music ensembles in North America. Led by flutist Claire Guimond, the orchestra offers a prestigious concert series in Montréal featuring more than twenty musicians and with the participation of internationally known guest conductors. The clarity and freshness of Arion’s interpretations have been remarked upon through the concert tours in Japan, United States, Europe and Mexico. Arion has an impressive recording collection with 26 titles both as an ensemble and as an orchestra, distributed internationally and on the web.

Guest conductor Alexander Weimann has traveled the world as member of Tragicomedia, as guest of Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort, Tafelmusik, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques and Le Nouvel Opéra. As guest conductor, he has led the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and the symphony orchestras in Halifax and Victoria. He is currently music director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Victoria (B.C.).

Founded in Montreal by Johanne Goyette in 1994, ATMA Classique is known worldwide for the quality of its artists and the originality of its productions. The more than 400 titles in its catalogue span a wide range of musical styles, from Baroque music to the great symphonic works, with numerous detours — into traditional music, Neapolitan song, tango, and contemporary repertoire. This rich catalogue is now available on diverse digital platforms, and features such world-renowned artists including conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, pianist Janina Fialkowska, and the chamber orchestra, Les Violins du Roy. Thanks to ever-evolving methods of production, ATMA Classique continues to explore and develop, with its focus on the artists and the music remaining front and center.