Friday, 26 November 2010

Vivaldi's Ottone in Villa

Antonio Vivaldi
Ottone in Villa

Ottone: Sonia Prina - contralto
Caio Silio: Julia Lezhneva - soprano
Cleonilla: Veronica Cangemi - soprano
Tullia: Roberta Invernizzi - soprano
Decio: Topi Lehtipuu - tenor
Il Giardino Armonico
Giovanni Antonini

2 x CD, Naive Classique
Release Date: 15th November 2010

Ottone in villa is the second recording of a Vivaldi opera this year, and the first full opera recording ever done by leading Baroque music specialist Il Giardino Armonico and its music director Giovanni Antonini. They are joined by a cast including confirmed performers and rising stars such as Julia Lezhneva and Topi Lehtipuu. Ottone in Villa is the earliest opera by Vivaldi, and this is the world premiere of a complete recording of the work.

Il Giardino Armonico, founded in Milan in 1985 and directed by Giovanni Antonini, is one of today’s most admired and sought-after ensembles specialising in performance on period instruments. The ensemble has made many award winning recordings of instrumental works by Vivaldi and other seventeenth and eighteenth-century composers.

Long thought to be Vivaldi’s first opera, Ottone in villa (Otho on vacation) had its premier in 1713 in the small public theatre of Vicenza, the Teatro delle Garzerie. By this time Antonio Vivaldi was already a celebrated violin virtuoso and teacher at La Pietà. Ottone in villa bears witness to Vivaldi’s mastery in his first productive period (in 1711 he had published his Op. 3 concerti, L’estro armonico), and is a precious example of Venetian operatic culture. The drama is a satire of Imperial Rome’s high society, concentrating on amorous intrigues among an attractive group of young characters in a pastoral setting.

Il Giardino Armonico toured a concert hall performance of the opera earlier this year. The following video sequences were filmed at Cracow Opera House:

An interview with Giovanni Antonini:

An interview with Topi Lehtipuu:

The first performance of Ottone in Villa in Vicenza on the 17th May 1713 marks the official beginning of Vivaldi's operatic career. The Red Priest was 35 years old; an advanced age compared to when most of his contemporaries made their operatic debuts, but an age that makes sense when one considers his desire to base his theatrical activity in Venice and to install himself securely, both as opera composer and as impressario. In the stronghold of dramma per musica which the Serenissima was at that time, the roaring successes were as numerous as they were fleeting; and lasting success was rarely achieved by debutants. Several successful composers, including Carlo Francesco Pollarolo and Francesco Gasparini, the two masters of Venetian opera in the early eighteenth century, did not stage any operas in Venice before their maturity, not wishing to take on the conquest of the Venetian theatres before having secured the foundation of a prestitious post in one of the city's large institutions.

The Vivaldi Edition, a recording venture conceived by the Italian musicologist Alberto Basso (Istituto per I Beni Musicali in Piemonte) and the independent label Naïve, is one of the most ambitious recording projects of the twenty-first century. Its principal objective is to record the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph manuscripts preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria in Turin, some 450 works in all.

An interview with Veronica Cangemi (in Italian):

Ottone in villa download links:

Antonio Vivaldi
Arie per tenore (tenor arias)

Topi Lehtipuu - tenor
Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera
I Barrochisti
Diego Fasolis

1 x CD, Naive Classique
Release Date: 25th October 2010

The 40th title in the Vivaldi Edition series showcases a new signing for Naïve, the young Finnish tenor Topi Lehtipuu. It’s also the first time the label has dedicated a full recording in this series to the repertoire for tenor. Some of the composer’s most popular tenor arias – from 11 different operas – are featured and once again the incredible strength of variety in Vivaldi’s art is apparent.

One of the most acclaimed new tenors on the operatic stage, Topi Lehtipuu was born in Australia, grew up in Tampare in Finland, studied at the Sibelius Academy and made his debuts in Helsinki, at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées before taking up residence in Paris. Appointed Music Director of the Turku Music Festival from 2010 to 2013, he is mainly sought after for his fine interpretations of contemporary and early music, as well as the major Mozart tenor roles. He often sings under the batons of Emmanuelle Haïm, René Jacobs, Paul McCreesh, Riccardo Muti, Christophe Rousset, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jean-Christophe Spinosi.

An excellent Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress conducted by Vladimir Jurowski at Glyndebourne this summer, he will appear in Mozart’s La finta Giardiniera in Vienna during November. His role in the Naïve recording of Vivaldi's La fida ninfa was much praised and he’s also part of an exceptional cast in the soon-to-be-released Naïve/Vivaldi Edition opera recording, Ottone in villa. See the new Vivaldi website

Arie per tenore download links:

1 comment:

  1. Julia Lezhneva, Royal Albert Hall, Classical Brit 2010