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Siroe, Rè di Persia
By George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)
|Handel. Siroe, Rè di Persia.
(HWV 24, London 1728). Accent ACC 26401 (3 CDs, May
Booklet (pdf). Lawrence Cummings, FestspielOrchester Göttingen.
Siroe: Yosemeh Adjei, countertenor; Emira: Anna Dennis,
soprano; Laodice: Aleksandra Zamojska, soprano; Medarse:
Antonio Giovannini, countertenor; Cosroe: Lisandro
Abadie, baritone; Arasse: Ross Ramgobin, bass. I found
fault with much of the singing on Spering's abridged and
reorchestrated recording, but at least the cast included
Ann Hallenberg. In contrast, this new recording -- still
incomplete -- has nothing to recommend it. Pressing the
Skip button simply takes you from one imcompetent
performance to another. Even if the singing
were better, this would still be an unacceptable
recording because of the annoying stage noise from the
goofy, modern staging that is depicted in numerous
color photos in the brochure and folding box. It's
amazing how proud the pipsqueak purveyors these staging
atrocities are of their silly but expensive, copycat
productions. From a detailed and quite
accurate review by
C. Wake on Amazon.co.uk: "I am severe
on these singers, I know; and I have this much sympathy
for them, that they have to sing this extreme music
while running around the stage in their underwear,
covered in fake blood, taking showers, simulating sex
acts, and making breakfast – or whatever else the stage
director has dreamt up. They needed courage and stamina
– but they also needed a level of vocal technique which
they do not have and show no signs of achieving. They
struggle through Handel like the storm-tossed mariners
he often makes them sing about. Not one of them gives
any pleasure to the listener." (The laudatory review in
Early Music Review shows how far Handel opera
reviews in EMR have slipped since the death of
Anthony Hicks.) Stick with Spering, which
in addition to being a superior performance includes a
Senesino aria cut by Cummings.
Siroe, Rè di Persia. (HWV 24, London 1728). Harmonia
Mundi HMC 901826/27 (2 CDs, February 2004). Abridged version.
Review by Philippe Gelinaud. Andreas Spering, Cappella
Coloniensis. Siroe: Ann Hallenberg, contralto; Emira: Johanna
Stojkovic, soprano; Laodice: Sunhae Im, soprano; Medarse:
Gunther Schmid, countertenor; Cosroe: Sebastian Noack, baritone;
Arasse: Timm de Jong, bass.
|Handel. Siroe, Rè di Persia. (HWV 24,
London 1728). Virgin (forthcoming?). Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco.
This was mentioned on a website several years ago, but the
reference has since disappeared.
Domenico Sarri. Siroe (Naples 1727). This version of the text, used by
Handel, was personally influenced by Metastasio. Other composers who set the
libretto in 1726-27 were Vinci, Porta, Porpora, and Vivaldi.
|Hasse. Il Siroe (Bologna 1733). Ensemble Serse.
Cosroe: Julian Forbes, tenor; Siroe: Katherine Marriott,
mezzo-soprano; Emira: Katherine Cooper, contralto; Medarse:
Calvin Wells, sopranist; Laodice: Catrine Kirkman, soprano;
Arasse: Andrew Pickett, countertenor. Saturday, 27 September
2008, 7 pm, St. Giles Church, Denmark St., London.
Winton Dean. Handel's Operas, 1726-1741 (Boydell Press 2006).
R. Strohm, "Handel and his Italian opera texts." Essays on Handel and the
Italian Opera. (Oxford University Press 1985).
Le magazine de l'opera-baroque page on Siroe