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Fritz Wunderlich – “Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” Aria of Ruggiero – “Alcina” (1735) Act II Scene III – Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759)

by Luca

Fritz Wunderlich – “Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” Aria of Ruggiero – “Alcina” (1735) Act II Scene III – Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759).

Unique Opera Records & Melodram – ℗ 1981
Recorded in Köln on May 15, 1959. Radio broadcasting.

Cappella Coloniensis
Kölner Rundfunkchor
Conductor M.° Ferdinand Leitner
Alcina – Dame Joan Sutherland
Ruggiero – Fritz Wunderlich
Bradamante – Norma Procter
Oronte – Nicola Monti
Morgana – Janette van Dijck
Melisso – Thomas Hemsley.

The role of Ruggiero was composed by Händel for a castrato voice, the famous Mezzo-sopranist voice of Giovanni Carestini (c. 1704 in Filottrano, near Ancona – c. 1760).
“The range of Carestini’s voice changed throughout his career – he began as a ‘powerful and clear soprano’ (according to Burney), but later descended to ‘the fullest, finest, and deepest counter-tenor that has perhaps ever been heard’ (again according to Burney). He was held in high regard by many critics across Europe. Hasse commented that ‘He who has not heard Carestini is not acquainted with the most perfect style of singing’, while Johann Joachim Quantz remarked that ‘He had extraordinary virtosity in brilliant passages, which he sang in chest voice, conforming to the principles of the school of Bernacchi and the manner of Farinelli’. He was also reputed to be a fine actor, and was furthermore noted for his striking good looks.”
In 1962 and in 1986 the role has been performed by two great female Altos (or Mezzo-Soprano) “en travesti”: Teresa Berganza and Della Jones. Unfortunately, especially in the latest years, many fake counter-tenors tried to perform this role, but with inauspicious outcomes

MI LUSINGA IL DOLCE AFFETTO

Mi lusinga il dolce affetto
con l’aspetto del mio bene.
Pur chi sa? temer conviene,
che m’inganni amando ancor.
Ma se quella fosse mai
che adorai, e l’abbandono;
infedele, ingrato io sono,
son crudele e traditor.

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