Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of Handel's Ariodante in a concert performance streamed from New York's Carnegie Hall. A spectacular cast joined by Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera.
Following the 1711 premiere of his opera Rinaldo, Handel held a decade-long sway over the world of Italian opera in London, bolstered by his sturdy patron King George I and a relatively empty field of competitors. But by the mid-1720s, his career was teetering at the edge of ruin: King George had died in 1727, Italian opera seria was being progressively undermined by English-language comic opera, and a newly arrived rival composer Niccolò Porpora had managed to lure away many of Handel's vocal stars. In the face of crisis, Handel rose above his difficult circumstances to reinvent himself, both artistically and professionally. It began in 1733 with the unveiling of his magical opera Orlando. Then in 1735, Handel premiered Ariodante at Covent Garden. The work would prove to be one of the composer's most gorgeous and inventive scores, filled to the brim with outstanding arias for each of its principal singers.
This concert is presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed annual cycle of Handel operas in concert. Placing superstar mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato front and center as Prince Ariodante, she is joined onstage by numerous highly accomplished vocal colleagues as well as one of the world's finest chamber orchestras, The English Concert, under the baton of its current Artistic Director Harry Bicket.
Joyce DiDonato appears courtesy of Warner Classics.
Photo: Joyce DiDonato © Pari Dukovic
The Ensemble Matheus at the Chapelle de la Trinité (conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi)
Verbier Festival 2015