Excerpts from operas by Jean-Benjamin de La Borde (1734- 1794), Pierre-Montan Berton (1727- 1780), Jean-Claude Trial (1732- 1771), Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714- 1787), François-Joseph Gossec (1734- 1829), André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741- 1813), Niccolò Piccinni (1728-1800), Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782), etc.
This is the last of Reinoud Van Mechelen’s Trilogy of hautes-contres in collaboration with the CMBV and created to familiarise audiences with the French tenor voice. Pride of place is given to Joseph Legros in the Alpha Classics album.
Reinoud Van Mechelen is a devotee of the haute-contre or French tenor and has become one of its leading proponents. Here he completes his trilogy of three great opera singers, which includes Dumesny at the time of Lully, Jéliote at the time of Rameau and Legros at the time of Gluck. In 1764, Joseph Legros first sang what was still baroque repertoire, chiefly composed of works by Rameau and his successors such as Berton or Dauvergne. When Gluck arrived in Paris, Legros started to rethink his vocal technique and stage performance and turned to increasingly dramatic roles. He contributed to giving French opera a more European, pre-romantic style. When Legros left the stage in 1783, he had reached iconic status with his unforgettable performances in innumerable operas including Gluck’s famous Orphée et Eurydice. Reinoud Van Mechelen offers a musical overview of his repertoire, premiered and recorded with AMUZ in Anvers.