Room 25

This time we present two virtuoso voices.

First we bring you the English tenor Nigel Rogers, who has one of the most flexible voices I've ever heard. 2008 is the 401 st anniversary of the premiere of the opera Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). In 1973, Rogers recorded the lead role and there is no one that I've heard who can match his performance. It is non-human. An other-worldly being sang the role. Look at a picture of Rogers. He looks normal, but listen closely to these two passages from the aria Possente spirto, and see what you think. Listen to excerpt 1.

Listen to excerpt 2.

That is totally unreal. Go ahead, listen as many times as you want.

The other virtuoso voice is that of Edita Gruberova, one of the greatest coloratura sopranos who has ever lived. She is 61 years old now, and probably heading to the end of her career. But listen to her in the role of Zerbinetta, from Richard Strauss's opera Ariadne auf Naxos. This is a recording from 1988.


Here is the lovely Edita at the time of the recording. These are two voices which have to be miracles of God.

Monteverdi: Orfeo Juergen Juergens, Conductor (Archiv label) This recording may be unavailable.

Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos; Kurt Masur, conductor Label=Philips catalog number=422 084

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