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With its ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ cover and booklet photos suggesting more ménage than hommage, this disc turns out to represent three composers – Mozart, Haydn and Cimarosa. Once over that mild disappointment it’s very enjoyable. Young baritone William Berger might not have the richest of tones, but his voice is true and the top secure. Just as importantly, he is able to use it to build character and his Count, Giovanni, Guglielmo and Pappageno are all deftly differentiated. Perhaps more attuned to humour than seduction, he also makes a success of Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella, where one joke is stretched pretty thin. I admit that he fails to assure me of Haydn’s efficacy as an opera composer, so it’s a pity he opens with an aria from L’isola disabitata. Nicholas McGegan conducting is hugely supportive and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on good form. This disc is a pleasant surprise and, if you’d like a break from the recent crop of releases featuring big names trotting out the usual warhorses, I highly recommend it.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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