HANDEL Semele / Bartoli, La Scintilla 0743323

. . . what a performance she gives! She sings with haunting, mesmerising beauty, and always in character. Wonderful though she is, she does not overshadow the rest of the cast. Charles Workman as Jupiter gives a lesson in breath control -- his big aria 'Where'ere you walk' is sung with unfailing style -- and there are strong contributions from the other cast members. William Christie in the pit reveals all the subtleties of the score and produces some heartrending playing. Carsen's direction, with its subtle use of light, does not put a foot wrong. Altogether a must-have performance.

Fans of Cecilia Bartoli and William Christie will want this DVD . . . Christie's contribution is sterling . . . [Bartoli] is quite engaging . . . [the Zurich chorus] performs admirably well . . . [Birgit Remmert/Juno] is also impressive vocally . . .

Cecilia Bartoli's assumption of Semele is mostly very well done. Despite the fact that she is a mezzo-soprano, she has no problem with the range of Semele's music. Her ease and facility in coloratura is mostly excellent . . . Cecilia Bartoli is everything one might desire in the title role, vocally and visually; she sings with her customary tonal luster, technical agility and security, and total interpretive commitment and involvement.