This release, Anima sacra, marks a number of firsts.
This release, Anima sacra, marks a number of firsts. It is the debut album from countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński – born in Poland, trained at the renowned Juilliard School in New York and winner in 2016 of the Metropolitan Opera's prestigious National Council Auditions. It also features what are believed to be world premiere recordings of eight Baroque arias, notably by composers of the Neapolitan school.
“Baroque style is about freedom and passion,” says Orliński. “There are lots of rules of style to follow, but there are also so many choices to make, starting with ornamentation that you can do in so many different ways. With those ornaments, you can show your creativity, but also get even deeper into the piece and show your artistic persona. It can all be filtered by your own life experiences, which will inspire your choices.”
Warsaw-born Orliński, who has been praised by the New York Times for combining “beauty of tone and an uncommon unity of colour and polish across his range”, comes from a family in which, as he says, “almost everyone is a painter, architect, graphic designer or sculptor”. He began singing in choirs and became a particular fan of the British male vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, which, significantly, has always featured two countertenors. Before completing his studies at Juilliard, he took a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin University of Musicand became a member of the young artists’ programme of the Polish National Opera.