Agrippina Album cover
Georg Friedrich Handel


Alexandrina Pendatchanska (Agrippina)

Jennifer Rivera (Nerone)

Sunhae Im (Poppea)

Bejun Mehta (Ottone)

Marcos Fink (Claudio)

Neal Davies (Pallante)

Dominique Visse (Mago Narciso)

Daniel Schmutzhard (Lesbo)

René Jacobs

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Harmonia Mundi

Release date:
October 2011

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Awards: Agrippina Awards: Grammy Nomination; Carrefour de Lodéon — france inter; Choc de Classica; BBS Music Choice; Excepcional — Scherzo; BBC Music Magazine Awards 2012; un événement ffff — Télérama; Diapason 5

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The jury says... “Agrippina herself is a manipulative monster… and a performance as thrillingly realised as this from René Jacobs and his outstanding cast proves the dramatic worth of the original score... It's bursting with life and colour; the DVD documentary makes a great introduction, and the presentation is as handsome as you'd hope... ” BBC Music Magazine Awards 2012 — Opera Award Winner “Soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska is outstanding in the meaty title role, and Jacobs's conducting is full of pep." Classic FM, February 2012 “BBC Music Magazine Opera Choice.” December 2011 “Jacobs's performance is electric. The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin matches the singers in virtuosity. The casting is luxurious... Deadly and glamorous, Alexandrina Pendatchanska's Agrippina is indefatigable.” BBC Music Magazine, 1st December 2011 BBC Radio: Disc of the Week “... There is no substitute for theatrical experience in bringing a work like this to life, and it really shows in Jacobs’ vibrant direction – and in the singing of his excellent cast. Headed by formidable soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska in the scheming title role...” Graham Rogers, Music Review, BBC Radio, 17th October 2011 “No one could ever accuse Alexandrina Pendatchanska of under-characterisation. She sings with flame-toned, no-hold-barred intensity, feigned tenderness, too, where required. This is Agrippina's opera: and Pendatchanska remains a commanding, neurotic presence throughout.” Gramophone, January 2012 “Alexandrina Pendatchanska is gloriously over the top in the title role.” Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 13th October 2011 “...The Flemish conductor’s theatricality can’t be gainsaid, but purists may demur at the Callas-like chest notes of Alexandrina Pendachanska's Agrippina. The Bulgarian soprano is both virago and subtle schemer, however, a vivid presence...” The Sunday Times, 16th October 2011 “A mother's love, we can all agree, is a wonderful thing. The trouble with Agrippina, the fourth wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the heroine of Handel's opera, is that she takes the thing too far. To gauge the exact distance listen in this recording to the voice of Alexandrina Pendatchanska, the Bulgarian soprano often cast in René Jacobs's spirited accounts of 18th-century operas. Up on high the pitch sometimes gets bent, the words too; both mangled in the heat of the character’s obsessive desire to push her ambitious son Nero — he who fiddles while Rome burns — on to the throne. Pendatchanska's impassioned acrobatics are just one striking feature of this rollicking Baroque feast...” Geoff Brown, The Times, 7th October 2011 “Alexandrina Pendatchanska's intensely human Agrippina.” Financial Times, 1th October 2011 “Alexandrina Pendatchanska, as the scheming Agrippina, tosses off her coloratura passages with a flourish.” ConcertoNet. com, 1st January 2012 “Alexandrina Pendatchanska is a knockout as the wicked Empress, sometimes a railing harpy full of vocal fireworks, other times a wheedling manipulator of her doltish husband.” Limelight Magazine, January 2012 “Alexandrina Pendachanskas Agrippina ist hinterlistig, berauschend in der Fülle ihres Soprans und unberechenbar in ihren Ausbrüchen.” Crescendo, November 2011 “Grandiose is the expressive range of the Bulgarian soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska as empress Agrippina. In the recitatives, her singing just as irresistible as the arias.” De Telegraaf, Netherland, 31 December 2011 “Dabei wartet die intrigenreiche Handlung von ‘Agrippina’ mit überaus plastisch gezeichneten Charakteren auf, denen das Sängerensemble in höchstem Masse gerecht wird. Besonders Alexandrina Pendatchanska führt als doppelzüngige Herrscherin Agrippina ihren wandlungsfähigen Sopran in entlegene Gefilde, und Bejun Mehta besticht als Ottone mit einem ausgesucht schönen Countertenor.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, January 6th 2012 “Alexandrina Pendatchanska otorga gran estatura dramática al papel titular.” El Pais, 5th November 2011 “Musicalmente, la mano de Jacobs se aprecia no sólo en la intensa y vívida teatralidad de esta interpretación o en la sonoridad clara, brillante y ágil de la extraordinaria Akademie für Alte Musik de Berlín, sino también en el trabajo de ornamentación al que impulsa a sus cantantes, que forman un elenco de gran homogeneidad. Una habitual del director belga es ya Alexandrina Pendatchanska, deslumbrante y poliédrica Agrippina, convenientemente enfatizado su perfil más siniestro.” Diario de Sevilla, 5th November 2011 “D’entre el grup de joves cantants destaca la gran protagonista de l’òpera la soprano búlgara Alexandrina Pendatchanska / amb un agilíssim fraseig i bona dosi de dramatisme i el Nerone de Jennifer Rivera, així com el contratenor Bejun Mehta, en l’únic personatge pur de l’òpera, Ottone.”, November 2011 “Magnífica está la soprano búlgara Alexandrina Pendatchanska en el papel de Agrippina, con un fraseo ágil y dramático que da veracidad al personaje.”, 17 th October 2011