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An early opera by the ‘Maestrino’, as the young Mozart was called at the premiere, Mitridate is a feast of arias and an acreage of recitative – seemingly hours of the stuff. The story is pretty turgid so dramatic impetus is at a premium, but thankfully the arias are exciting and Ian Page’s conducting of the Orchestra of Classical Opera provides both momentum and detail, allowing the sometimes frenetic music time to breathe. His cast is up to the vocal demands, which are bravura in the extreme. Barry Banks copes valiantly with Mitridate’s extreme leaps of range. Miah Persson and Sophie Bevan are well contrasted as Aspasia and Sifare, the former displaying a glittering brilliance of tone, the latter a more limpid quality; their coloratura is excellent. Klara Ek’s Ismene is sweetly vocalised and Anna Devin’s Arbate confident and secure. Only Lawrence Zazzo’s Farnace is slightly defeated by his role, which highlights some hootiness, especially in the passaggio. A bonus is the fourth disc of arias cut at the request of bolshie singers before the premiere.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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