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Amadigi di Gaula (1715)
By George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)
Amadigi di Gaula. (HWV 11, London 1715). Andrew Parrott,
FestspielOrchester Göttingen. Historically-informed staging.
Stage Director & Choreographer: Sigrid T'Hooft, Corpo Barocco. Amadigi:
Mareike Braun, mezzo-soprano; Oriana: Stefanie True, soprano;
Melissa: Judith Gauthier,
soprano; Orgando: Johanna Ness, soprano; Dardano: Markéta
Cukrová, mezzo-soprano. Göttingen Handel Festival, May 2012.
Amadigi di Gaula. (HWV 11, London 1715). Naïve Ambroisie
AM 133 (2 CDs, November 2007).
Details. Eduardo López Banzo, Al Ayre Español. Amadigi:
Maria Riccarda Wesseling, mezzo-soprano; Oriana: Elena de la
Merced, soprano; Melissa & Orgando: Sharon Rostorf-Zamir,
soprano; Dardano: Jordi Domènech, countertenor. Minkowski's 1989
recording is superior in virtually every respect, i.e.,
conducting, all the soloists, and acoustics. This one is worth
getting only for the new English translation and, for Spanish
speakers, a Spanish translation. Fast arias are performed very
fast and often with harsh bowing, but due to slow recitatives
and some extended cadenzas and the record company's
unwillingness to spend a few cents for a third CD, the repeat of
the siciliana aria was omitted. (This 2-CD set comes in a
space-hogging 3-CD box.) Update: Anthony Hicks points out
that Banzo performed the previously unrecorded 4/4 version of
Melisso's aria "Io godo, scherzo e rido", which is printed in an
appendix to the HHA edition. EMR 124: 35 (April 2008).
Amadigi di Gaula. (HWV 11, London 1715). Erato 2292
454902 (2 CDs, 1991). Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre.
Amadigi: Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto; Oriana: Jennifer Smith,
soprano; Melissa: Eiddwen Harrhy, soprano; Dardano: Bernarda
Fink, contralto; Orgando: Pascal Bertin, countertenor.
Outstanding performances by Stutzmann and Fink. Fast arias are
taken very fast but are not unpleasant.
Reissued in 2011.
Reissued on Warner Classics 2564-69651-9 (2008) in a 6-CD set with Minkowki's
recordings of Teseo & Il Trionfo. Improved
typeset librettos with new aria translations (pdf).
André Cardinal Destouches. Amadis de Grèce (Paris 1699). Libretto by
Antoine Houdar de La Motte. Handel's libretto is a translation of La Motte
rather than the superior libretto by Quinault set by Lully in 1684.
Amadigi: Nicolini, alto castrato; Oriana: Anastasia Robinson, soprano;
Melissa: Elisabetta Pilotti-Schiavonetti, soprano; Dardano: Diana Vico,
contralto; Orgando: possibly Caterina Galerati, soprano.
In their revised edition, Dean & Knapp report that an incomplete set of six
instrumental parts was discovered in the Fürstenberg Library. The parts
evidently were prepared for a purely instrumental performance, giving the vocal
line generally to the first oboe. "Five arias have a number of stylish ornaments
squeezed in by a second hand; though intended for instruments, they would be
equally suitable for the voice." Dean & Knapp (1995), page 297.
Winton Dean & J. Merrill Knapp. Handel's Operas, 1704-1726. (Oxford
University Press 1995 (1987)).
R. Strohm, "Handel and his Italian opera texts." Essays on Handel and the
Italian Opera. (Oxford University Press 1985).
David Kimbell, "The 'Amadis' operas of Handel and Destouches." Music &
Letters 49: 329-346 (1968)
Le magazine de l'opera-baroque page on Amadigi di Gaula