April 24, 2014

Philippe Jaroussky reaches new heights on the cover of Opera News

The French celebrity countertenor opens up about the ‘morbid fascination’ with his voice type, and hints at future plans.

The latest edition of Opera News magazine celebrates a soaring voice that proves the sky’s the limit, a “superbly flexible and elegant instrument, with a purity of tone and a lush palette of colours that sopranos might well envy”.

In a candid interview, France’s celebrity countertenor opens up about a shift in musical direction that has already earned his recent Erato disc Stabat Mater the accolades of Best Baroque Vocal Album and Best Opera Album of the year at the International Classical Music Awards.

“For the last ten years, my career has centred on pyrotechnics,” he says of the breathtaking arias for castrati that remain a source of “morbid fascination” and the “bread and butter of a countertenor’s career”.

“In the next few years, though, I want to concentrate on more ‘spiritual’ music, less on the virtuoso castrato repertoire,” he told Opera News.

“What I long for — is it wisdom, or laziness? — is less spectacle and more musical depth. Last November, I launched a new recording of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, and in future I plan to tackle the Handel oratorios and music by Purcell, Dowland and Bach,” he explains. On Music For A While, his new disc with intrepid Baroque group L’Arpeggiata, he explores the music of Purcell in inspired arrangements tantalisingly spiced with jazz.

Read the Opera News interview here or in the May edition.