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Francisco Cavalli: Ercole Amante / Bolton/Concerto Koln, Netherlands Opera Chorus [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Cavalli, Francesco : Ercole Amante
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Commissioned to celebrate the marriage of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and Marie Therese of Spain, the original production of Cavalli's 'Ercole Amante' took two years to complete and, at the time, was the grandest show ever performed in Europe. DNO's contemporary, hilarious and surreal production, directed by David Alden, is a triumph of opera buffa, a riot of decoration and symbolism complemented by Constance Hoffman's exceptional costumes. Luca Pisaroni's Ercole is heroic and melodious in turn, Veronica Cangemi is a splendid Iole, and the Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera and Concerto Koln give a sublime performance under Ivor Bolton, a master of baroque music. An outstanding production, filmed in High Definition and surround sound. A Blu-Ray of this performance is available as BOA 7050D.

"Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) wrote this opera for the wedding of Louis XIV to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660. But the performance had to be delayed as the theatre was not completed in time, and when it was eventually presented, the piece was heavily undermined by the talkative French audience and the Lully clique. Notwithstanding all this "travail", the opera was considered the greatest extravaganza of its day, although the story is hardly fitting for a wedding feast. Ercole is constantly striving to banish his wife Deianira and kill his son Hyllo so that he can marry his sister-in-law Jole. Juno, the goddess of marriage intervenes, and husband and wife are finally reunited, although at the end it is a case of too little too late. Luca Pisaroni is commandingly vigorous, especially in his man-made plastic muscles, and his performance is wholly assured, but it is the female singers Anna Maria Panzarella and Anna Bonitatibus that steal all the thunder. Indeed, their renditions are constantly sensitive to the harmonic content of the music, and the many "embellishment" passages are handled with versatility and imagination.

An expert in this kind of repertoire, Ivor Bolton marshalls his forces with aplomb, and although his conducting is sympathetic to the singers, he keeps things moving along a brisk pace. The production is engaging on all fronts; stage, scenery, choreography, singing, dancing, acting and costumes in particular all contribute magnificently to this opulent venture which I recommend wholeheartedly, particularly to baroque aficionados. Sound and vision are in the level of excellence we have come to expect nowadays."-classical.net

Notes & Reviews:

Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM 2.0, LPCM 5.0
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch


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Works Details

>Cavalli, Francesco : Ercole Amante
  • Performers: Anna Bonitatibus (Soprano); Veronica Cangemi (Soprano); Marlin Miller (Contralto); Jeremy Ovenden (Tenor); Anna Panzarella (Soprano); Luca Pisaroni (Bass)
  • Conductor: Ivor Bolton
  • Ensemble: Concerto Koln
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta