Vinci: La Partenope
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Description du produit
Description du produit
La Partenope is a rich and colourful production , superbly performed here by I Turchini Orchestra and conductor Antonio Florio, world-renowned specialists of Baroque repertoire.
In this version comic intermezzi have been added, as was customary in the eighteenth century.
Recorded in Murcia, Spain, 2011.
Sound Format: LPCM 2.0 DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9
Running Time: 168 mins
Subtitles: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Korean
Booklet Languages: Italian, English, French, German
Region Code: 0
'Vinci's operas have been almost ignored, so to have 'Partenope' in such a good performance is cause for thanks. When will another of his works be made available to us? This DVD is clear in sound and picture, with good camera work which does not whisk the viewer to a different shot after only a couple of seconds.' --International Record Review, March 2013
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The star of this presentation is the presentation. The sets are standard classic but the costumes, gestures, balletic movements and acting are all high comedy (parody?) and combined with excellent vocalization and orchestral playing by I Turchini di Antonio Florio gives us a great performance.
The composer Leonardo Vinci (1696-1730)was a brilliant comet that swept over the middle Italian operatic firmament of the early 1700s and died out too soon. His first operatic efforts started in 1719 and ended in 1730. In those eleven years he wrote and performed some 31 operas as listed in Grove's Dictionary of Opera. He became famous overnight for his new style of vocal writing he termed "dynamic periodicity" that became the standard of classic vocal style. His fame was so great that the older Handel rearranged and presented some of his works after his death and dedicated his own version of the Partenope story to him.
In this production of his opera now called Partenope, we have her as the ruler of the city she founded but she is pursued by numerous suitors. One Emilio of Cumae threatens war if she does not submit. The other suitors ally themselves with her in this battle and in the latter part of Act 1 is one of the best faux battle scenes with balletic, vocal and musical resources used that I've ever seen staged. As noted before the singing is excellent in general with classic fioratura obbligato well executed. The Queen Partenope Sonia Prina (alto) is a master of this style and is outstanding. Great singing, great staging; a must have!
Queen Partenope, the mythical founder of Naples, is surrounded by would-be lovers, one of whom is the king of the enemy Cumaean hinterlanders, one of whom (the tenor, of course) is subserviently faithful, and one of whom is an opportunist who has abandoned a previous fiancee in Cyprus. That betrayed fiancee inevitably arrives, dressed as a man, seeking revenge. The role of Partenope was originally filled by Faustina Bordoni, the most acclaimed alto of her era, for whom both Handel and Hasse composed. Thus it's absolutely proper that Partenope is sung in this production by Sonia Prina, one of our most accomplished altos who often gets stuck in trousers. Two of her suitors, Emilio and Arsace, are sopranos, in those male hoop-skirts I mentioned above. The female Rosmira, disguised as the male Eurimene, is sung very artfully by soprano Maria Grazia Schiavo, although I couldn't help imagining the effect of having "her" sung by a castrato, or nowadays a countertenor, in the ultimate baroque gender-bender. The four women singers are musically top-drawer in this performance, and get the HIPP nod to embellish their da capos as floridly as anyone might have wished in 1725. Steffano Ferrari sings the role of the deeper-voiced suitor Armindo a tad too manfully and bluntly, suggesting perhaps why composers of the early 18th C rarely assigned prominent roles to tenors.
Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730) patched his Partenope together in utmost haste, on demand in Rome with hastier revisions in Venice, adapting a 1699 Neapolitan libretto by Silvio Stampiglia and recycling all of the recitativos from the 1722 setting by Domenico Sarro, as well as Sarro's brief 'military' instrumental interludes. In short, only the arias are Vinci's, and several of those were recycled from Vinci's own earlier operas. The libretto had durability. It was set first by Luigi Mancia, then by Antonio Caldara, then by Manuel de Zumaya for performance in Mexico City in 1711, and eventually by Handel for performance in London. Handel had the highest appreciation of Vinci's work, borrowing from it freely with Vinci's explicit consent.
You may be surprised to learn that there are three operas by Leonardo Vinci available on CDs: Partenope, the opera seria Artaserse, and the opera buffa Li Zite 'Ngalera. I've heard both Partenope and Artaserse live, and I can't say that I find the former as musically exciting as the latter, which is unfortunately only available on CD. Vinci: Artaserse Artaserse was justly one of the most popular operas of its age. There is a CD of Partenope also but you'd miss all the fun of the intermezzi and at least half the amusement of the dramaturgy by going that way. And, if you are an avid fan of baroque opera, watching this historically informed staging will heighten your awareness of the challenges of producing Baroque operas for modern audiences.