The young French-Italian singer Lea Desandre sings the playful aria ‘E un foco quel d’amore’ from Handel’s pastoral cantata Aminta e Fillide.
She joins Sabine Devieilhe, Le Concert d’Astrée and Emmanuelle Haïm on an album of Handel’s Italian cantatas that Gramophone chose as its Recording of the Month for December 2018.
“Both singers have unblemished voices of beautiful quality,” wrote Richard Wigmore, “Sabine Devieilhe, as Aminta, pellucid and free-soaring, Lea Desandre with a dark flare in her high mezzo … They interact vividly in recitative, and in their arias strike an ideal balance between refinement and intensity.”
The “Flower Duet” (French: “Duo des fleurs”) is a famous duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, first performed in Paris in 1883. The duet takes place in act 1 of the three-act opera, between characters Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.
Soprano Sabine Devieilhe’s signature operatic role, Lakmé, forms the starting point for her enticing album Mirages. A collection of opera and song in French, its theme is the exotic allure of faraway – and imagined – places and people. In addition to three numbers from Delibes’ opera, it features music by Berlioz, Debussy and Stravinsky and some rarer names: Thomas, Messager, Koechlin and Delage. Devieilhe is joined by mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, pianist Alexandre Tharaud and the period-instrument orchestra Les Siècles under its founder, François-Xavier Roth.