Deutsche Grammophon signs first countertenor in label’s history, adding superstar singer Franco Fagioli to its illustrious family of artists

Franco Fagioli
Photo: © Rosanna Sibora / DG

“… Fagioli makes a spellbinding impression: the Argentinean countertenor’s quite exceptional timbre enables him to coax and caress his way through a ten-minute-long line, slipping smoothly into the lower register only to soar with absolute purity up to the heights, a symbol of freedom put under threat, but ultimately achieved. The impact is even more stunning in the rapid-fire coloratura passages that showcase his sensational three-octave range at breakneck speed.” Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 2015

Berlin, 2 July 2015. Franco Fagioli, acclaimed worldwide for his captivating artistry and beguiling vocal agility, has become the first countertenor ever to sign an exclusive recording deal with Deutsche Grammophon. The singer’s new relationship with the Yellow Label, announced in Berlin yesterday, reflects his status as one of the brightest stars of Baroque and early 19th-century bel canto opera. Recent reviews of the Argentinean-born artist’s work confirm his place among the finest performers of our time: Forum Opera, for example, has praised Fagioli as “today’s greatest countertenor: subtle, sensitive and virtuosic”. His extensive and constantly evolving repertoire includes everything from works by Monteverdi and Frescobaldi to Mozart and Rossini.

Earlier this year Franco Fagioli teamed up with a fine cast, including sopranos Malin Hartelius and Emmanuelle de Negri, to make a live recording of the original version of Gluck’s revolutionary opera Orfeo ed Euridice, first performed in Vienna in 1762. They were joined by the period-instrument orchestra Insula and chamber choir Accentus under Laurence Equilbey’s direction. Orfeo ed Euridice, set for international release on 11 September, marks Fagioli’s first complete recording of an operatic title-role and the first appearance of the original Vienna version of Gluck’s masterwork on Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv Produktion.

Famed for his three-octave range, technical command and charismatic stage presence, Franco Fagioli studied singing at the Superior Art Institute of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He made his career breakthrough in 2003 as winner of the “Neue Stimmen” International Singing Competition and has since achieved distinction as a concert artist and on the opera stage, appearing with conductors of the calibre of Rinaldo Alessandrini, Gabriel Garrido, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski and Riccardo Muti. Fagioli made his debut at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in 2007, with Muti, who immediately invited him to perform again the following year. He made his first appearance at the Summer Festival in 2012, as Andronico in Tamerlano, under Minkowski. In 2014, he made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo

“It is a great honour to work with Deutsche Grammophon,” comments Franco Fagioli. “I am delighted with Orfeo ed Euridice and look forward to many other projects in the future.”

Ute Fesquet, Vice President Artist and Repertoire of Deutsche Grammophon, welcomed Fagioli to the Yellow Label. “Franco Fagioli’s extraordinary voice can dazzle, delight and move listeners to tears. He takes a special place in our family of artists not only as DG’s first ever countertenor but also as a performer of the highest calibre.”

Fagioli will take to the studio later this year to record his solo debut album for Deutsche Grammophon, which is slated for release in 2016.

Franco Fagioli, accompanied by Holger Groschopp (piano)
Photo: © Rosanna Sibora / DG