Photo: Karli Cadel
Glimmerglass 2015, Tazewell Thompson dir.
Vivaldi - Curtis
Catone in Utica (1737)Duration: 161 minutes
Opera in three acts, edited by Alessandro Ciccolini and Alan Curtis
Libretto by Metastasio (I)
M,A,3CT(2S,M),T; mixed chorus; 0.2(opt).0.0-18.104.22.168-continuo-strings
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
|MARZIA, Catone's daughter, secretly in love with Cesare||Alto|
|ARBACE, Royal Prince of Numidia, Catone's ally and in love with Marzia||Soprano|
|EMILIA, Pompeo's widow||Virtuoso soprano or Mezzo-soprano|
|FULVIO, delegate of the Roman Senate, in love with Emilia||Mezzo-soprano|
|Guards, servants, assassins and soldiers|
The surviving second and third acts of Catone in Utica, one of Metastasio’s most dramatic libretti, premiered in Verona in the spring of 1737 in a setting by Vivaldi, contain some of his finest, most mature, and most original arias, and are published here for the first time. They evince a potential dramatic intensity that makes us regret all the more the loss of the first act. Only one aria of Act I can be definitely recovered from a surviving opera, but the rest has now also been successfully reconstructed by Alessandro Ciccolini, whose intimate knowledge of Vivaldi’s working methods, combined with brilliant stylistic insight won universal acclaim for his work on Vivaldi’s Motezuma and Ercole sul Termodoonte. Ciccolini has also composed cadenzas and da capo variations for all the arias, published here in an appendix.
"[For his completion,] Alessandro Ciccolini, who, mindful that Vivaldi frequently adapted vocal music for his instrumental works and vice versa, has composed the missing passages using themes from the concertos as his starting point. His arias dovetail beautifully with Vivaldi's scheme of things..." The Guardian
"Ciccolini and Curtis deserve enormous credit for transforming an incomplete obscurity into a coherent and compelling opera." Gramophone
"The opera survives incomplete, but this is a fascinating and apt reconstruction and there is some marvellous stuff here." BBC Music Magazine
Topi Lehtipuu / Ann Hallenberg / Roberta Mameli / Sonia Prina / Romina Basso / Emöke Baràth / Il Complesso Barocco / Alan Curtis