The Danish baritone Bo Skovhus is an interesting singer, whose thoughtful and effective characterizations outweigh the quality of his voice. It's not a bad instrument, just not a very interesting one by itself, with some unevenness between registers, sometimes a heavy vibrato, and he has a tendency to lean into phrases instead of opening them head-on. But what he does with it is admirable and well-displayed on the varied selections on the disc. He can infuse musical meaning into the words in a wide range of languages (four are represented here) and a variety of styles, from the romanticism of Korngold to the bravura of Thomas's Hamlet and the tender lyricism of Billy Budd. The accompaniment by James Conlon and the English National Opera Orchestra is good, and the sound is excellent.
Copyright © 1999, Alexander J. Morin