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Maria Callas – Giulietta Simionato & Mario Del Monaco – “Oh, rimembranza … Ah! Sì fa’, core, abbracciami … Ma di’…. l’amato giovane” – “Norma” – V. Bellini – Live 1955 at “La Scala” by Luca

GIUDITTA PASTA: A Life on the Lyric Stage Kenneth Stern. The great British actress and writer Fanny Kemble said of Giuditta Pasta: “Madame Catalani is the first of the queens on song that I have seen ascend the throne of popular favour, in the course of sixty years, and pretty little Adelina Patti the last; […]

Luca Casagrande – “L’ile inconnue” – “Le Nuits d’Eté” – H. Berlioz (1803 – 1869). 1841 version for baritone voice and piano. by Luca

“Les Nuits d’été” (“Summer Nights”), Op. 7, is a song cycle by Hector Berlioz. It is a setting of six poems by Théophile Gautier. The collection was completed in 1841, and initially composed for either baritone, contralto, or mezzo-soprano, and piano. Berlioz later adapted the work for soprano voice, and also gave it full orchestral […]

Della Jones – “Pensieri voi me tormentate” followed by a recitative between Agrippina and Pallante – “Se ben nemica sorte”. G. F. Händel by Luca

“Agrippina” (HWV 6) is an opera seria in three acts by Georg Friedrick Händel, from a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. Composed for the 1709–10 Venice Carnevale season, the opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son […]

Arleen Auger & Marilyn Horne – “Io t’abbraccio” – “Rodelinda” – G. F. Händel – From the Hamburg Concert 30.6.1991 by Luca

The role of Bertarido (in the previous post Andreas Scholl, a respectable counter-tenor or male alto) was written by Händel for a castrato, “il Senesino”, a star in the first part of ‘700. But honestly I prefer a female contralto en travesti (here Marilyn Horne, R.I.P.) in this and others Händel’s roles. Arleen Augér is […]

Anna Caterina Antonacci – “Ombre, piante, ombre funeste” – “Rodelinda” – G. F. Händel – Glyndebourne 1998 by Luca

Handel’s Rodelinda was written for the same cast who sang in the premiere of his opera Tamerlano; in fact Handel produced a trio of masterpieces (Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda) in under twelve months. The presence of tenor Borosini, who had sung Bajazet in Tamerlano encouraged Handel, again, to create a role for a tenor, […]

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