Mozart's Metastasian opera seria is one of his best works.
Where is the black stone of Emesa?
Posterity has not been kind to Handel's late opera Arminio.. With my customary perversity, I enjoyed it more than Giulio Cesare.
Dramma per musica in 3 actsComposer: Nicola PorporaLibretto: Nicola ColuzziFirst performed: Teatro Capricana, Rome, 11 February 1732 Nicola Porpora was a master of writing for the human voice. In his day, he was one of Italy’s foremost singing teachers; his pupils at the Conservatorio di Sant’Onofrio, Naples, included the castrati Farinelli and Caffarelli (who studied … Continue reading 127. Germanico in Germania (Porpora)
Opera seria in 3 actsComposer: Leonardo VinciLibretto: Pietro MetastasioFirst performed: Teatro Alibert, Rome, 19 January 1728 A Roman triumph! Decca’s 2015 recording (conductor Riccardo Minasi, with Il Pomo d’Oro) of this Caesarian opera seria has some of the most extraordinary singing I’ve ever heard. Veni, audivi, Vinci, one might say. Catone in Utica was Leonardo … Continue reading 126. Catone in Utica (Vinci)
Dramma per musico in 3 actsComposer: George Frideric HandelLibretto: Niccolò Francesco Haym after Giacomo Francesco BussaniFirst performed: King's Theater, Haymarket, London, 20 February 1724 The ides of March may have passed, but we still have time to stab Caesar. Here it is: the most famous and beloved opera seria. Keates calls it a "tragicomic masterpiece"; … Continue reading 123. Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Handel)
Opera seria in 3 acts Composer: George Frideric Handel Libretto: Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani First performed: Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice, 26 December 1709 For many people, Handel is Baroque opera: musical and scenic spectaculars based on classical myth, medieval romance, or history, with castrati singing elaborate, highly ornamented da capo (A-B-A) arias. Haydn hailed him … Continue reading 118. Agrippina (Handel)