Handel Alcina … on Verdi’s birthday!

Baroque is not my favourite style of music, but in the spirit of trying out less familiar things and joining friends for a night out, i’ll be listening to this tonight:

The reason for this adventure is The English Concert / Handel Alcina/ Joyce DiDonato 🙂 and what i think is an amazing cast.

Handel Alcina

English Concert

Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Joyce DiDonato Alcina
Alice Coote Ruggiero
Anna Christy Morgana
Christine Rice Bradamante
Ben Johnson Oronte
Wojtek Gierlach Melisso
Anna Devin Oberto

I know most of them and they are fabulous, so not better way to try Alcina out (all 3h+ of it!)

 But i can’t let Verdi’s birthday go by without mentioning at least one of his many operas i love. So this is, Rigoletto in the words of my beloved conductor Antonio Pappano:

I really like this particular David McVicar/Royal Opera House production, so dark and dangerous, naughty and touching.

I’d love to bring you the ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ from the above show, as it was one of the most beautiful i’ve heard/seen live, but unfortunately a video is not available, so instead i’ll share my second favourite which is from a famous Jean-Pierre Ponnelle film version with Luciano Pavarotti. He is to this day one of the Duca i most enjoy and it’s not just the voice, but the utter joy of life he sings it with 🙂 (watch his eyes!) So here is the entire scene, the ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ in the second part of it, to me the most beautiful quartet in the whole of opera music.

Enjoy!  and happy slide into the weekend everyone!


11 thoughts on “Handel Alcina … on Verdi’s birthday!

  1. I just watched the second clip there about Rigoletto and Vittorio Grigolo, and wow. Thank you for that, Hariclea. That was *really* interesting. First of all the explanations about Rigoletto, the meaning of the aria and the character of the Duke. And then the little portrait of Grigolo. What an interesting singer!! Not at all like the prejudice of the stuffy old guy, but a motorcycle-devil, joking backstage. And yes, the backstage insights were really fascinating, too. Those ROH clips seem really interesting. I must watch more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, he’s perfect for the role. Insiders are split about him but i absolutely love him, he’s a good singer and a LOT of fun to watch 🙂 i like people who just immerse themselves on stage and he def is one 🙂 A lot of singers are like him these days, maybe not that crazy 😉 not everyone rides a bike but a lot of them are down to earth fun people. Both these videos are from the ROH cinema broadcasts, they do interviews and these little videos in the interval so people can get to see the backstage and rehearsal stuff which i find fascinating. I think it is nice to see people the way they are and take away some of the ideas people may have about this art form. I mean the subjects are very human, dirty, sad, horrific, romantic, deadly and all stuff that life is. He was gorgeous in the role, the production is very dark and diggs out of the nasty bits, i like that. And they have the most amazing costumes and get very much down to business in them, like so 😉

      we were joking that the clothes must have been stitched directly on him , which they probably were 😉 But he is a really good singer too 🙂 ( i do have 1 i like even more though 😉 and a few baritones, i love dark voices ;-))) nor surprise there , eh? 😉 but in this role he is perfect!)


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