HANDEL, G.F.: Opera Arias (Villazon, McCreesh)

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- (Disc 1)
Conductor: McCreesh, Paul

Solomon, HWV 67
Serse (Xerxes), HWV 40
Water Music: Suite No. 1 in F major, HWV 348
Tamerlano, HWV 18
Ariodante, HWV 33
Rodelinda, HWV 19

Venue: St. Paul's Church Deptford, London
Date of Concert: 2008
Playing Time: 01:15:34
Television Director: Kasten, Henning
Catalogue Number: A025045370000
UPC:

It would be hard to imagine a more seductive hero, a more passionate performer, a more glorious interpreter of the great Romantic roles of Verdi and Puccini than Rolando Villazon. Yet the singer's temporary withdrawal from the spotlight in 2007 opened up a wealth of new possibilities for the singer. Among the "new paths" that Villazon envisioned for the future were "adventures" such as Baroque music. Next to a recording of works by the early Baroque composer Claudio Monteverdi, he now offers a selection of arias by George Frideric Handel.

This intimate concert featuring Villazon and the Gabrieli Players under Paul McCreesh was filmed in a setting that ideally suits the style of the music, St. Paul's Church in Deptford, near London, one of Britain's finest Baroque churches. It was built between 1712 and 1730, almost exactly when Handel was writing his most celebrated operas and oratorios.

Villazon proves that he is a master of dazzling coloratura, virtuoso runs and expressive cantabile melodies. Among the highlights of the concert – which also includes two purely orchestral works – are the beloved arioso "Ombra mai fu" from Serse, Grimoaldo's aria "Pastorello d'un povero armento" from Rodelinda, the lyrical, longing "Scherza infida" from Ariodante, and Bajazet's spirited aria "Ciel e terra armi di sdegno" from Tamerlano. Villazon is joined by soprano Rebecca Bottone and countertenor Timothy Travers-Brown in the death scene of Bajazet from Tamerlano.

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