Reviews

 

“Francesco Nicola Fago, cantatas and ariettas for solo voice and continuo”
First solo Cd in world premier recording for the British discographic label Toccata Classics (July 2016) with the baroque ensemble “Santa Teresa dei Maschi” in Bari, Italy (Sabino Manzo,
harpsichord and conductor) – Preface in the libretto by Dinko Fabris

Amadeus (Piero Mioli, July 2017)
Translation from Italian: “(…) a sweet and homogeneous voice, exquisite but not thin, mild in the recitatives (pronounced with simplicity and elegance) and perfectly singable in the arias (…) He is also good at coloraturas, Strano, a just twenty-eight-year-old neo-musician from Catania, coming from Dutch studies and fortunes (…)”

L’Opera (Alessandro Mormile, March 2017)
Translation from Italian: “Riccardo Angelo Strano, in his first solo recording, appears to be an expert in Baroque vocal style for writing himself the finest ornamentations of the “Da Capo” sections. But we come to the voice that is well emitted, with a falsetto of natural seducing timbre, elegant and never artificially supported by a sharp diction (…) and the good propensity to coloraturas.”

Rivista Musica -Cd evaluated with 4 stars (Claudio Bolzan, February 2017)

Translation from Italian: “Riccardo Angelo Strano proves to be a very focused singer concerning the historical and philological executive practice. He succeeds in translating every work with an ever-clear discourse, along with a dramatic attention to details that is essentially responsive to the variety of the invention and to the peculiarity of writing by bending his voice (with a very interesting timbre) with measured ductility in order to bring out different emotions for each single aria (…) at the same time he revitalizes the recitatives.”

BaroquiadeS.com (Jean-Luc Izard, November 2016)

Translation from French: “His diction is chiseled, the registers very homogeneous, the style greatly elegant and the low register is deep and full of sound.”

ApeMusicale (Stefano Ceccarelli, February 2017)
Translation from Italian: “The empathy among the musicians is enviable and it produces a very high performance. Strano’s skills are a warm and ductile voice, well centered in the various registers, expressive, therefore particularly suitable for these compositions which are not easy to execute since they are perhaps written for ‘Nicolino’. The phrasing, often supported by a genuine and emotional transport, is remarkable for shades, nuances and preciousness.”

OperaClick(Bruno Tredicine, January 2017)

Translation from Italian: “In these compositions Riccardo Angelo Strano (who composed also the ornamentations for the “Da Capo” sections) gives nostalgic and acutely sore atmospheres with an incisive expressiveness. The young countertenor strikes an absolute naturalness of timbre, never artificial as it often happens in this type of register. The voice is soft and succulent with burnished color, and his singing on the breath-line makes the line light and slim. Though he is very young, he has already got a mature consciousness with which he adheres to the poetics of the various cantatas with the proper attention to the every word, accents and phrasing exalted by extreme clarity of diction”

Teatro.it (Francesco Rapaccioni, January 2017)

Translation from Italian: “The protagonist of this recording is the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano who exemplaryly proposes eight cantatas by Fago. They are particularly complex to perform but the young artist succeeds in giving an excellent result with fluid and extended voice without smudges (…) Fago’s pieces are here performed by Strano with technical elegance and vocal charm; its homogeneous emission and energetic vocality expresses unusual force and pathos in making each performance unique and inventive (…) But in each of these, Strano can perfectly combine the beauty of singing with a remarkable personal and emotional participation.”

Il Trillo Parlante (Fabio Tranchida, November 2016)

Translation from Italian: “The very good countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano emphasizes the various motions of mind aroused by recitation, always rippled and never static. Suspensions and openings make all these parts which introduce each aria really essential and his voice well emphasizes them. It is a warm and compact voice even in a more difficult range among the other lyrical voices, and it is pleasing to be listened to. Even in the passage to more acute notes we notice a uniformity in favor of a balanced singing and dark colors (…) Strano’s voice has a perfect voice timbre for these sweetness, with continuous sighs and delicate accents.”

BelliniNews (Giovanni Pasqualino, November 2016)

Translation from Italian: “A singer with a strong and secure vocal technique, he also shows a great talents in the messa di voce, sounds onset, legato, piano notes, ornamentations and even more in both power of sound and delicacy’s accuracy. His sophisticated musicality also allows him to give in every passage performed a pathos and a vibrant passion that are the indispensable and inevitable elements of any interpretation that can be defined as highly incisive and meaningful one. It should also be pointed out that all the ornamentations of every piece “Da Capo” section were composed by him, revealing remarkable and inventive composition qualities in each of these.”

OperaLibera.net (Margherita Panarelli, November 2016)

Translation from Italian: “The fresh agility and clarity of Strano’s voice offer a peculiar charm to the performance of the featured pieces in the disc and the excellent technique supports it easily: vocal agility, sudden changes of registers and other embellishments are all dealt with gentleness, tastefulness and accurateness ( …) The precise intonation of Strano’s cristalline voice timbre perfectly matches with the composer’s intentions.”


RaimondoDiSangro.wordpress.com(Raimondo Di Sangro, Giugno 2017)

Translation from Italian: “Riccardo Angelo Strano succeeds splendidly in each cantata (…) An inventive that never leads to greatness’ mania (as often happens with countertenors), a refined taste without useless or superfluous embellishments; the ornamentations we listen to are always fit or functional and the ultimate effect is to be able to finally hear a clear and safe voice without any blur.
And not for last, recitatives are also well accurate, with an intense and intelligible sense of the word itself (really rare!) (…) Strano gifts are different and multiple: the voice is warm and well centered in the various registers, he is able to be expressive (…) An adaptable voice to the profane songs that were probably written for a famous castrato of the time, Nicolò Grimaldi called Nicolino(…)”


BACCANALI“ – di A.Steffani (42nd Valle d’Itria Festival- Martina Franca, July 2016)

KulturKompasset.com (Bruno Tredicine, 08/08/2016)
* “Among the singers, outstanding countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano distinguished himself in the double role of Thirsis and Bacchus.
This young Sicilian artist captures with a fluidity in his singing and a uniform timbre thanks to a voice that doesn’t let nothing to desire in terms of extension: solid well timbred in the low notes and with shining high notes. Expressivity and magnetic stage presence make Strano an artist not to be missed.”

Teatro.it (Mirko Berolini, 04/08/2016)- Translated from Italian
“Strano has once again proven to possess an excellent countertenor voice with a rich sound, always compact along the whole range and the with an emission very well maintained and clean.”

Il Trillo Parlante (Fabio Tranchida, 31/07/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“The protagonist of this single act for the Court of Hanover was Riccardo Angelo Strano, as for La lotta d’Ercole con Acheloo, countertenor from the beautiful stage presence that has perturbed the audience in today’s edition of Baccanali. We already heard him in Giulio Cesare in Turin and now he’s an established countertenor with a burnished voice, with a soft and easy coloratura. Always inside his role, he never looked the conductor for the attacks, thus creating a character always dropped in the scene that interacts in the opening scene with two dancers in a continuous deeply erotic game whose Baccanali was the example. Strano appears at the beginning and at the end as Bacco, creating the right work frame.”

Ape Musicale (Francesco Lora, 30/07/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“To keep in the monitor, once again, the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano: his solid Italian technique, which wins on colleagues educated in German or British contexts, gives him richness of harmonics, roundness of emission and an extension which maintains the continuity of timber from high notes to the chest register; he fully deserves then,the main role of Bacco combined with Tirsi.”

GbOpera (Lorenzo Mattei, 20/07/2016)- Translated from Italian
“For the Alto Riccardo Angelo Strano (which in 2014 had interpreted Acheloo) it was an encore that gave confirmation of his talents as a singer and actor: his timber is indeed wonderful even in the central and lower area (the one where falsettists are more at risk) (…) he showed an achieved maturity and a congeniality towards this difficult repertoire. “

Gli Amici della Musica.net (Lucio Tufano, 02/08/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“Double commitment is up to Riccardo Strano Angelo, which is Tirsi along the course of the action, but in the epilogue – with unexpected metamorphosis by Mauro and Steffani – sings also the role of Bacco. The countertenor from Catania stands out not only for the technical safety, but also for his ability to enhance the sense of the words; magnetic and touching was, in particular, his interpretation of the last aria, A goder io mi preparo, with whom he has enchanted the numerous audience.”

La Gazzetta del Meridione (Daniele Lo Cascio, 24/07/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“Good the cast in which stands Riccardo Angelo Strano (Student of Belcanto Academy “Rodolfo Celletti” in A.A. 2014), in the dual role of Bacco and Tirsi, by the excellent soprano tessitura for which the work appeared written ad hoc (…)”.

OperaClick (Dino Foresio, 29/07/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“The alto Riccardo Angelo Strano has confirmed his uncommon vocal and stage talents in the role of Bacco, a true deus ex machina (…)”.

Il Corriere Musicale -AllaBarbaresca.com (Luca Chierici)- Translated from Italian

 

“(…) Countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano, singing the roles of Tirsi and Bacco, confirmed his excellent skills already noted in the past (…)”.

ImpiccioneViaggiatore.com(Andrea Merli, 08/08/2016) – Translated from Italian

 

“To lead them into temptation, until the final kiss, is Bacco, the mercurial and always in tune countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano, who also originated the role of Tirsi, perfect even scenically(…)”

OperaBalletto.it – Translated from Italian

 

“(…) standing on all, the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano, already acclaimed in the past years”


ALTRI EROI…“ – Recital di arie operistiche di G.Rossini ( Società Catanese Amici della Musica, Catana 18 Giugno 2016 )

 

BelliniNews.it (Anna Rita Fontana, 17/06/2016)- Translated from Italian

 

“(…) a soaring voice in the medium-high register, among bold ornamentations and a clarion vibrating timber magnificently sustained (…)”


BAROQUE KINGS“ – Sacred and Opera arias recital by  Haendel, Vivaldi, Porpora e Broschi (Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara – Mexico, July the 7th 2015 )

ProÓpera.org.mx (David Mendélez – September/October 2015 edition)

* “Cuando surge el embrujo vocal, la realidad se trastoca (…) Así, sin mayores esfuerzos y con una elegancia histriónica natural sobre el escenario, el contratenor italiano supo debutar en nuestro país con la gallardía necesaria para volverse recuerdo inolvidable. (…) Strano ya tenía a todos los asistentes pegados a su timbre vocal (…) y cuando la solemnidad de las primeras notas del ‘Alto Giove’ de Polifemo de Porpora se dejaron escuchar, el encanto arrebató el aliento. El fraseo de Riccardo fue pleamar, mostrando el portamento exacto para domar cualquier mar vocal. (…) ‘Son qual nave ch’agitata’, aria que Farinelli hiciera famosa, con un Riccardo sonriente y mostrando que su voz puede subirse a cualquier carrusel de infinidad de extensiones vocales sin perder brillo, modulación y palpitación”

* “ When the vocal charme emerges, the reality turns upside down (…) in this way, without many efforts and with a natural elegance onstage, the Italian countertenor was able to debut in our country with the necessary braveness to be become unforgettable (…) Strano kept the audience enchanted  by his vocal timber (…) and when it was possible to listen to the first notes of Alto Giove by Porpora’s Polifemo,  the enchantment stole the breath. Riccardo phrasing was a slow but inexorable crescendo showing the exact way to tame every vocal difficulty (…) Son qual nave, aria made famous by Farinelli, with a smiling Riccardo showing how his voice is able to reach every vocal virtuosity of range, without loosing brightness, modulations and emotions (…) “

** to read the original Spanish version click here: http://www.proopera.org.mx/pasadas/sepoct7/otras_voces/1-otrasvoces-sep15.pdf


 

LA NONA, DAL CAOS IL CORPO“ – Compagnia Zappalà Danza ( Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini – Catania, 20,21,22,23,24,26,27 of May 2015 )

Danza&Danza (Maria Luisa Buzzi, n° 263,  July-August 2015) – Translated from Italian

“Seeking for that joy that An die Freude evoques through the silken voice of countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano lying on a armchair, in a bohèmiene style, among scenography’s rubbles”

Corriere Musicale (Santi Calabrò, 29/05/2015) – Translated from Italian

“Praiseworthy also the presence of Riccardo Angelo Strano dealing with Schiller’s text of the famous Finale”

Sicilia e Donna (Alessandra Bonaccorsi, 29/05/2015) – Translated from Italian

“Onstage twelve dancers (…) and the extraordinary countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano”o Angelo Strano” 


 

CARMINA BURANA“ by Carl Orff ( Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini – Catania,  May the 13th and 14th 2015 )

 “La Sicilia” (Sergio Sciacca, 15/05/2015) – Translated from Italian

“ Riccardo Angelo Strano (countertenor) gave careful modulation to the not easy score written for his role, smartly put by Orff as ancient ages’ heritage and their continuation through the future.  Sonorities and, above all, the artistic behaviours praiseworthy confirm this young artist, culturally raised in Catania before raising to the greatest Flamish musical features, adding this achievement in Catania to his collection of international successes”


 

DEI PERDUTI AFFETTI “ (World première in modern times of Nicola Fago’s cantate a voce sola – Bari, 24/04/’15 )

“Santa Teresa dei Maschi” Facebook Official Page (Vincenzo Cicchelli, 26/04/’15) – Translated from Italian

“Beautiful colour, full in every part of the range, always sweet and homogeneous emission, with a master use (very rare) of range passaggi, excellent pronunciation, good phrasing, coloraturas, big expressivity and musicality, in particular in the nard ornamentations composed by himself”.


 

QUELL’USIGNOLO…” (Farinelli opera arias recital – Società Catanese Amici della Musica – Catania, 24/02/2015)

BelliniNews.it (Giovanni Pasqualino, 26/02/2015) – Translated from Italian

“Riccardo Angelo Strano, that we already listened some year ago, not only confirms the talent already shown in the past, but he increased his artistic maturity, showing a compact and sure technique, joined to a fine musicality and expressive sensibility. Moreover he faced with aristocratic confidence every trill, gruppetto, acciaccatura, passaggio. His phrasing resulted absolutely precise and clear as well as his diction was always accurate and limpid”


 

GIULIO CESARE IN EGITTO”  by G.F.Haendel (Turin, Teatro Regio – November 2014)

AssociazioneMusicaleTiberini – MARIOTIBERINI.BLOGSPOT.IT (Giosetta Guerra 17/12/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ Riccardo Angelo Strano (Nireno, Cleopatra’s and Tolomeo’s confident) is a good countertenor with a brilliant voice able to go down to the lower register in a natural way”

Liricamente.it (William Fratti 04/12/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ … Riccardo Angelo Strano in the role of Nireno, gifted with a smooth and silky voice”

KlpTeatro.it (Mario Bianchi  28/11/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ …and the very funny Cleopatra’s companion, Riccardo Angelo Strano, in the role of Nireno (very rare countertenor to hear and here proposed with good technical skill…”

ArtInMovimento.it (Annunziato Gentiluomo 27/11/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ Remarkable the vocal and scenic contribute of countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano as Nireno”

BelliniNews.it (Christian Speranza 26/11/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ Strano works musically and vocally with elegance and it’s surprising how the vocal emission results to be powerful also in the recitatives from the back of the stage” 


 

LA LOTTA D’ERCOLE CON ACHELOO” by A.Steffani (40th “Festival della Valle d’Itria” in Martina Franca – July 2014)

GbOpera (Lorenzo Mattei 29/07/2014) – Translated from Italian

“Convincing the young falsettista Riccardo Angelo Strano for voice quality,  stage presence , above all, and perfect diction”

ApeMusicale (Francesco Lora 01/08/2014) – Translated from Italian

“…with his mellow voice color, his uniform emission, with his eenergetic diction, Strano proves how to continue famous castrati’s vocal heritage not only in the costumes but also in a healthy singing, no matter the name given to the vocal range; the stage animal ,  breezy as a baroque singer of 24 y.o. can be, isn’t less interesting than the singer.”

Teatro.it (Mirko Bertolini 25/07/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ Good the very young singers, from which countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano emerges: a full timber, always compact through the whole range very well cared, clean, harmonious, well trained and with beautiful high notes. Surely one of the most interesting countertenor voices nowadays, without imperfections, acid or scratchy tones which often characterize, unfortunately, this kind of voice. Fully in the role of Acheloo, he demonstrated to have not just a beautiful voice but also  distinguished stage talent”

FameDiSud.it (Enzo Garofalo 02/08/2014) – Translated from Italian

“Acheloo love tensions, found their expression in countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano voice, really remarkable for vocal control, phrasing and musicality; these qualities, combined with his very young age, his stage temperament and with the divine nature of the character, were able to make sound natural also an artificial voice, as the countertenors’ one usually is.”

OperaWorld.es (Domenico Gatto 08/08/2014) – Translated from Italian

“ Of a good level also Riccardo Angelo Strano in the role of the unlucky Acheloo, musical countertenor with a very present voice and a very personal voice colour”

OpernWelt.de ( OPERALIVELY.COM 12/09/2014 – Originally published in English) “ One should also keep an eye on the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano, who sang the role of Acheloo with a ‘sovereign’ combination of sweet tone, vocal power, perfectly balanced registers and a demonic stage presence that predestines him for the roles of villains”

DerOpernFreund.de (Eva Pleus 06/08/2014)

* “ Acheloo wurde von Riccardo Angelo Strano mit schönem Ton und viel Gefühl gensungen sowie lebhaft dargestellt 

* “ Acheloo was sung by Riccardo Angelo Strano with beautiful voice, feeling and with a sparkling stage presence”


CATANIA RISUONA “ – (concert by “Associazione Musicale Etnea” – Teatro Sangiorgi, Catania, 29/12/’13 )

ViviCatania.it (Salvatore Romeo 14/01/2014 ) – Translated from Italian

” Took by his hand and gently lulled , we were taken  into the classical singing world by an intense , extraordinary , exemplary  but especially exciting RiccardoAngelo Strano , accompanied at guitar and at the harp by the elegant Affinity Duet; The countertenor has once again proved his immense talent by capturing even the most timid breaths , and then releasing bursts of long applause of appreciation even by those who had never had the pleasure to hear it. “


GLI ORTI ESPERIDI ” by  N.Porpora (Italian premiere in modern times – Neaples, October 2013)

OperaClick.com (Bruno Tredicine, 24/11/’13) – Translated from Italian

“Riccardo Angelo Strano ,countertenor , was a Palemone in  absolute evidence: from its first entrance he was highlighted by the considerable vocal talents : a rich timber , compact along all the range, with a very well studied vocal emission which combined with a great expressiveness , always in style with musical dictation and a conscious stage presence. ”

 

CriticaClassica.worldpress.com (06/127’13) – Translated from Italian

“Among all the singers, in evidence above the others were Maria Grazia Schiavo in the role of Venere(  …)and the young countertenor from Catania Riccardo Angelo Strano , in the role of Palemone , who immediately met the favour of the public, both for an exceptional voice from all points of view as well as for a stage presence out of the ordinary.  The presence of two artists so good, ended up perhaps to overshadow the other three protagonists … “


 

L’ARLESIANA“  by F.Cilea (Jesi, “G.B. Pergolesi” Theater – September 2013)

GbOpera.com (Davide Oliviero 27/09/’13) – Translated from Italian

” …completing the cast (…) and the excellent “Innocente” by Riccardo Angelo Strano . “

 

GoMarche.it (Andrea Zeponi – 03/10/’13) – Translated from Italian

“Remarkable and vibrant the presence of the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano in the role of “ L’Innocente”, originally given to a mezzo-soprano en travesti who played the male role . This, which made the interpreter closer to the character , has helped to make more meaningful the theatrical aspect of this matrix realist , where there are already quite a few decadence suggestions of the twentieth century . “

 

TeatriOnline.com (Giosetta Guerra – 16/10/’13) – Translated from Italian

” … “L’innocente”  is Riccardo Angelo Strano, high countertenor with graceful voice .”

Reviews published after “L’Arlesiana” DVD e CD release by “Dynamic” , Italian discographic label, and distributed by “Naxos of America” (July 2015).

AsOpera.fr (Jean Cabourg)

* “Among the other masculin characters (…) the choice of a countertenor, to impersonate the problematic Innocente, was excelent.”

* “Parmi les autres figures masculines (…) le choix d’un sopraniste pour incarner le troublant Innocente s’avère excellent.”

ConcertoNet.com (Olivier Brunel – 28/12/2015)

* “Excellent also (…) and L’Innocente of Riccardo Angelo strano of whom we discover at the end, after two acts where he was mainly used as an actor, a voice of a big purity.”

* “Excellents aussi (…) et l’Innocent de Riccardo Angelo Strano, dont on découvre à la fin, après deux actes où il n’est que comédien, une voix d’une grande pureté.”

DerOpernFreund.de (Ingrid Wanja – 16/08/2015)

* “Here the countertenor sings the small part in an astonishing way.”

* “Hier singt der Altus Riccardo Angelo Strano die kurze Partie eindrucksvoll.”

 


 

DIDO AND AENEAS “ by H.Purcell – Rome, “Teatro dell’Opera” (Terme di Caracalla,  June 2013)

OperaClick.com (Stefano Ceccarelli – 15/06/’13) – Translated from Italian

“Riccardo Angelo Strano (A spirit in form of Mercury), with his ethereal countertenor voice-timbre, sculpts the recitative of the pseudo-Mercury with seductive phrasing”

 

GbOpera.it (Massimiliano Maurizi – 13/06/’13) – Translated from Italian

“Discrete the other characters, with a special mention for the young countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano, in the short but important role of the Spirit”


 

“DEL PERDUTO (IN)CANTO” – (Recital for “Società Catanese Amici della Musica” – Catania, May 2013)

La Sicilia (Sergio Sciacca – Catania, Maggio 2013) – Translated from Italian

“Rarity in the field of classical music … countertenor voice for which distinguishes our young countryman, Richard Angelo Strano…a robust and smooth voice, absolute security both in the high range and (unusual prodigy) in the low one: and then a passion, an ability to communicate which marks  those who are inspired by the art and knows how to convey his inspiration…new talent of V.Bellini’s homeland…”

BelliniNews.it (Giovanni Pasqualino – 01/05/’13) – Translated from Italian

“Riccardo Angelo Strano has demonstrated a strong and fierce technique combined with an exquisite musicality and a high school of philological musical reading, qualities that have allowed him to offer to the crowded public, absolutely meaningful  interpretations full of charm…”


 

9th International Baroque Singing Competition “F. Provenzale” – Early Music Center “Pietà de’ Turchini” in Neaples (November 2012) – II Prize

 The “ROMA” (Neaples, Dicember 2012)  – Translated from Italian

“…as always, beyond the classification, the countertenor voice has a winning effect when, as especially in this case, it has a very fresh, natural, spontaneous vocal emission, well placed…” 


 

AGRIPPINA” by G.F. Haendel (The Hague, Koninklijke Schouwburg and Modena, “L.Pavarotti” Theater – October  and November 2009)

OperaNederland.nl ( Ottobre 2009)

*“De 21-jarige Italiaan Riccardo Strano zingt Nerone en is een talent.

* Translation from Dutch

“The 21 y.o. Italian Riccardo Strano sings Nerone and he’s a talent…”

Teatro.it (Mirko Bertolini 03/11/’09) – Translated from Italian

“…Riccardo Angelo Strano has been distinguished: with a crystalline, clean, harmonious, well trained voice with beautiful high notes he superbly personified the role of an ephebic Nerone, with a languid and perverse eye but with a weak character…”

UnaVocePocoFa.it (Massimo Crispi 11/11/2009) – Translated from Italian

“…Excellent Riccardo Angelo Strano’s Nerone, a young singer with a big energy who has well defined a capricious and inept adolescent which comes out from Vincenzo Grimani’s libretto…”