Opera Settecento will be performing Pergolesi Adriano in Siria at the Cadogan Hall on September 16th this year in concert. This will be a rare opportunity to hear a hidden gem by Pergolesi who is much better known for his Stabat Mater and other choral works than for any of his four opera serie.
The conductor on this occasion will be the highly-talented baroque oboist, Leo Duarte who was already booked to play the marvellous oboe obbligato in “Lieto cosi talvolta” which has been commercially recorded sung by Franco Fagioli.
The South African soprano, Erica Eloff will be singing her second Farnaspe of the year: the role was sung by a castrato in both the Pergolesi and the J C Bach version of Adriano, performed earlier this year by the Classical Opera Company. A potentially really interesting interview would be to ask Erica to compare and contrast the two versions of Farnaspe.
Pergolesi wrote two two trouser roles for women – Adriano and the young Aquilio. As a woman is singing Farnaspe, I have cast two men singing the trouser roles, in full acknowledgement that today’s countertenors are beginning to take on the higher roles written for castrati. These two are the Canadian countertenor, Michael Taylor and Cenk Karaferya, whom one might describe as a sopranista.
The high coloratura role of Sabina will be performed by Augusta Hebbert, who works regularly with La Nuova Musica. The evil Osroa will be sung by the young Hungarian tenor, Gyula Rab and Emirena’s rich mezzo role by Maria Ostroukhova, who recently came second in the London Handel Singing Competition.
Opera Settecento, under its musical director, Thomas Foster and artistic director, Miranda Jackson, is committed to reviving neglected works of the 18th century and to developing young singers in this unjustly neglected genre. The company will be unveiling a second pasticcio from Handel’s Academy at the 2016 London Handel Festival and plan to perform a neglected opera by Johann Adolf Hasse later in the year.
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