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Emily D'Angelo, 'Nausicaa'

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Mark Pillai, Courtesy of the artist

Emily D'Angelo is a young opera singer who doesn't exactly play by the rules. Although she's prized for her interpretations of Mozart, Handel and Rossini, none of those composers appear on her extraordinary debut recital disc. Instead, the award-winning Canadian mezzo-soprano sings music by women, spanning a thousand years — from 12th-century antiphons by Hildegard von Bingen to contemporary song cycles by Sara Kirkland Snider and Missy Mazzoli. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, Snider's heartbreaking "Nausicaa" depicts a woman welcoming home her husband after an absence of 20 years. With its clean, long lines and luminous orchestration, the music lets you hear the pure beauty of D'Angelo's voice in all its creamy muscularity.

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