Carlos Cogul: Introduction.
Arias from Il Barbiere, Un Ballo, Puritani, Don Giovanni, Pagliacci, Don
Carlo, Favorita, Trovatore, Otello, Rigoletto, songs.
Carlos Cogul, baritone, Compagnia d’Opera Italiana Orchestra, Antonello
It seems that the label discovered him while he was concertizing in
the draughty corridors of one or another station. I would be glad to report
that a major voice had been overseen by the opera houses but I fear this is
not completely true. Mr. Cogul has a light tenorish baritone, lacking heft in
his bottom notes. It is an agreeable sound with a slight vibrato but it is
not an operatic voice or to be more specific not a voice which is suited to
some of the heaviest arias in the baritone repertoire. There is something too
tentative in his singing, hardly daring to attack a note in Favorita; almost
like a conservatory student. Though the top is good it doesn’t have a real
G in Pagliacci where the voice starts to wobble.
There are some discrepancies too with the orchestra; the ‘Compagnia
d’Opera Italiana Orchestra’ conducted by Antonello Gotta. Now that name
is not unknown to me as he is the conductor of an enormous number of CD’s
which nevertheless are not to be found in most opera lovers' collections.
With his ad hoc orchestra Gotta produces “cantalopera” CD’s; that means
just the instrumental accompaniment to hundreds of arias for all kinds of
voices. Aspiring singers can then mix their own voice with the orchestra and
this explains the discrepancies on the CD. I fear Mr. Cogul is a victim of
the times. I’m sure he would have been a very attractive performer in
operetta and classical musical half a century ago but unhappily those times
have gone. Of course it must be frustrating for someone that probably far
less talented singers like Watson and Flanders own horror Helmut Lotti are
treated as if they have a voice but light baritones are not much in demand
anymore. Personally I enjoyed Mr. Cogul far more in his attractive version of
some pop songs and I would be glad to hear him in some Lloyd Webber. But it
is sometimes difficult to face the whole unmitigated truth on one’s own
vocal means when someone is severely bitten by the operatic bug as Mr. Cogul
is (he often ardently raises his voice on the web to praise a singer).