[ Arcana / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 22 September 2023
In 2018, the Styriarte Festival in Graz launched, in collaboration with Zefiro, a project to rediscover the operatic output of the Styrian composer Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741), Kapellmeister at the imperial court in Vienna for forty years, with the aim of restaging six of his nineteen operas, one per year. With a cast of Baroque vocal specialists, led by Monica Piccinini and Carlotta Colombo, this set of La corona d'Arianna represents the second instalment of the Arcana series which documents the recordings made in the course of this six-year cycle, following the success of Dafne in lauro (A488, 2021 - awarded Gramophone Editor's Choice and rated Eccezionale by Musica)
La corona d'Arianna was described as a "festa teatrale" and indeed it breathes a festive atmosphere throughout. It was written and performed in Vienna in 1726, as a birthday present from emperor Karl VI to his wife Elisabeth Christine. The choir, representing the guests at this big party, has a predominant role. On a closer look, Venus (Monica Piccinini) is busy combining couples of characters so far unlucky in love: Arianna (Carlotta Colombo) with Bacco (Rafal Tomkiewicz), Teti (Marianne Beate Kielland) with Peleo (Meli-li). This recording was made following the stage performances in Graz in June 2022 in which the work was shortened in relation to post Covid requirements. Yet the music by Fux flows happily, with plenty of dramatic tension and variety of colours.
"La Corona d'Arianna is wonderful in this version by director Alfredo Bernardini, who drastically shortened the opera due to 2022 COVID measures...The stand-out principal is Carlotta Colombo. She conveys Arianna's growing sensuality...The band's playing is joyous, even raucous, as Bernardini gives players space to relish Fux's superb scoring. Treat yourself to this immersive Baroque experience." Five Stars BBC Music - Opera Choice Nov 23