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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Stille Amare

London, February 1719: the birth of the Royal Academy of Music. George Frideric Handel was appointed musical director. German-born Handel, having spent four years in Italy, wanted to make London the new capital of opera. The only language to be sung on the stage of the King’s Theatre was to be Italian, and two other composers, Attilio Ariosti and Giovanni Battista Bononcini, were imported from the Italian peninsula. Both men were string players and contributed a new instrumental sweep to the company. Public enthusiasm reached considerable heights: thirty-four operas – more than 460 performances in all – were given at the Royal Academy over a period of nine years. Handel premiered his masterpieces Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Ottone and Radamisto. Ariosti and Bononcini also enjoyed great success between 1720 and 1723, notably with Coriolano (Ariosti) from which the sublime aria ‘Sagri numi’ is taken. ‘Royal Handel’ is a musical portrait of the first Royal Academy of Music. Eva Zaïcik and her partners in Le Consort celebrate the prodigious variety of the Handelian genius and introduce us to previously unrecorded arias by Ariosti and Bononcini: ‘We are captivated by the ghostly sonorities of “Stille amare”, the engulfing fury of “Agitato da fiere tempeste”, the virtuosity of “Gelosia, spietata Aletto”, the swirling excitement of “L’aure che spira”, the ascetic counterpoint of “Ombra cara” and the poignancy of “Deggio morire”.’

Odyssée Baroque

L’ensemble baroque Les Arts Florissants fête son 40e anniversaire à la Philharmonie de Paris aux côtés d’une distribution vocale exceptionnelle sous la direction de William Christie et Paul Agnew.

Aux cimes du baroque
40 ans après leur création, les Arts Florissants n’ont pas pris une ride ! Fondé en 1979 par William Christie, l’ensemble baroque s’est rapidement imposé comme une référence dans l’interprétation de la musique baroque européenne. Charpentier, Haendel, Lully, Purcell ou Rameau composent un bouquet richement fleuri de compositeurs que l’ensemble consacre au fil des années. Outre les auteurs, les Arts Florissants révèlent des talents avec lesquels ils forment une grande famille (les mezzo-soprano Léa Desandre et Eva Zaïcik, le théorbiste Thomas Dunford).

Un programme anniversaire
À la Philharmonie de Paris, les Arts Florissants s’entourent d’un casting exceptionnel pour faire revivre quelques grands tubes de leur répertoire : des extraits de Haendel (Alcina, Orlando, Atalanta, Ariodante), de Purcell (King Arthur et The Fairy Queen dont le dansant “Now the night”), de Rameau (Hippolyte et Aricie et Les Fêtes d'Hébé), mais aussi le bucolique “Doux silence de nos bois” d”Honoré D'Ambruys pour un concert exceptionnel aux côtés des étudiants de la Juilliard School.

Distribution :
William Christie, Paul Agnew, direction musicale

Sandrine Piau, soprano
Lea Desandre, mezzo-soprano
Christophe Dumaux, contre-ténor
Marcel Beekman, haute-contre
Marc Mauillon, baryton
Lisandro Abadie, basse

Les Arts Florissants
Juilliard415, élèves du département Historical Performance de la Juilliard School de New York

Gender Stories

Early 18th-century Italian opera companies often cast female voices in male roles, and sometimes castratos took female roles according to the vicissitudes of local circumstances. For example, during some periods female performers were forbidden on stage in Rome, but throughout the rest of Europe good female singers were the preferred option for leading male characters if no suitable castrato was available. Beyond that, there are plenty of Baroque operas in which characters disguise themselves as someone of the opposite gender. Such fluidity inspires a playful double album by Vivica Genaux and Lawrence Zazzo, who take turns to sing every conceivable kind of character within the compass of their voice-type (male, female, and covertly disguised), regardless of the genders of the characters or their original performers.

Es ist vollbracht

Aria from J. S. Bach's St. John Passion BWV 245 - "Es ist vollbracht" ("It is accomplished") - featuring boy alto Panito Iconomou, soloist of Tölzer Knabenchor, and viola da gamba soloist Christophe Coin.  An inspired, historically informed performance.


alto soloist: Panito Iconomou

viola da gamba soloist: Christophe Coin

Evangelist: Kurt Equiluz

Jesus: Robert Holl

instrumental ensemble: Concentus Musicus Wien

conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Tölzer Knabenchor director: Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden

Dom in Graz, Austria, ORF, 1985



...Da nun Jesus den Essig genommen hatte, sprach er:


Es ist vollbracht.

ARIE (alt)

Es ist vollbracht,

o Trost vor die gekränkten Seelen,

die Trauernacht

läßt nun die letzte Stunde zählen,

der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht

und schließt den Kampf.

es ist vollbracht.

Mea tormenta, properate!

Countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński makes a dramatic entrance with the aria ‘Mea tormenta, properate’ by Johann Adolf Hasse, a track from his debut album, ANIMA SACRA. “Baroque style is about freedom and passion,” says Orliński, who was born in Poland, trained at New York’s renowned Juilliard School and in 2016 won the Metropolitan Opera's prestigious National Council Auditions.

While Hasse came from Germany, ANIMA SACRA’s special focus is on composers of the Neapolitan school and it features world premiere recordings of no fewer than eight arias. Jakub Józef is partnered by the brilliant team of Il pomo d’oro and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev. All in all, quite a debut!

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor / Il pomo d’oro / Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor

Alla gente a Dio diletta

Jakub Józef Orliński - "Alla gente a Dio diletta" (from "Il Faraone sommerso")

Among the world premiere recordings on the Polish-born countertenor’s programme is this aria by the Neapolitan composer Nicola Fago, ‘Alla gente a Dio diletta’.

Sung by Aaron, brother of Moses, it comes from the oratorio ‘Il Faraone sommerso’ (The drowned pharaoh), which tells the dramatic biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt. The flowing serenity of the aria is reflected in the dream-like atmosphere of this video, directed by James Darrah.

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor / Il pomo d’oro / Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor

Ombra mai fu

Composer: George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
Repertoire: Handel Arias
Artists: Franco Fagioli (Countertenor), Il Pomo d’Oro, Zefira Valova
Place: Lonigo (Italy), Villa San Fermo, Sala Rossa
Produced by: Jakob Händel
Video Director: Igor Cortadellas (IGOR STUDIO)
Video Production: IGOR STUDIO -
Music Video for “Ombra mai fu” © 2018 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Rompo i Lacci

Anthony Roth Costanzo - Handel: Flavio, HWV 16 - Rompo i Lacci


Tilda Swinton is up to her beautifully bizarre tricks in a new music video she co-directed with partner Sandro Kopp. The six-minute video arrives just ahead of the release of Swinton’s new movie, Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria,” and is set to an aria by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, with composition by George Frideric Handel. In it, Swinton’s Springer Spaniels are featured performing tricks and running through the wilderness in slow motion.