Handel: Serse Franco Fagioli

Cover Handel: Serse

Album info



Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Opera

Artist: Franco Fagioli

Composer: George Frideric Handel

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759): Serse, HWV 40:
  • 1Serse, HWV 40: Overture03:22
  • 2Serse, HWV 40: Gigue01:55
  • Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1:
  • 3Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Frondi tenere"00:43
  • 4Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Ombra mai fù"02:51
  • 5Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Siam giunti, Elviro"00:26
  • 6Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Sento un soave concento"02:08
  • 7Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "O voi che penate"02:27
  • 8Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Arsamene - Mio Sire"00:23
  • 9Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Và godendo vezzoso e bello"01:57
  • 10Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Quel canto a un bel amor"01:24
  • 11Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Io le dirò che l'amo - Tu le dirai che l'ami"02:38
  • 12Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Arsamene - Romilda"01:07
  • 13Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Sì, sì, mio ben"02:41
  • 14Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Presto, signor - Come, qui Principessa"01:20
  • 15Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Meglio in voi col mio partire"01:58
  • 16Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Bellissima Romilda"00:31
  • 17Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Di tacere e di schernirmi"02:09
  • 18Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Aspide sono"00:15
  • 19Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Né men con l'ombre"02:42
  • 20Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Se cangio spoglia, non cangio core"01:48
  • 21Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Pugnammo, amici"00:23
  • 22Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Già la tromba, che chiamò"00:41
  • 23Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Ecco Serse, oche volto"01:01
  • 24Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Soggetto al mio volere"01:49
  • 25Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Già la tromba, che chiamò"00:42
  • 26Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Queste vittorie, io credo"01:39
  • 27Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Più che penso alle fiamme"07:40
  • 28Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Eccoti il foglio, Elviro"00:38
  • 29Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Signor, Signor, lasciate far a me"00:34
  • 30Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Non sò se sia la speme"03:46
  • 31Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Tradir di reggia sposa"00:19
  • 32Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Saprà delle mie offese"03:53
  • 33Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Al fin sarete sposa"01:11
  • 34Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Se l'idol mio"04:17
  • 35Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Per rapir quel tesoro"00:16
  • 36Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Un cenno leggiadretto"03:48
  • 37Serse, HWV 40 / Act 1: "Speranze mie fermate"00:40
  • Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2:
  • 38Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Ah! Chi voler fiora"00:52
  • 39Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "E chi direbbe mai"02:39
  • 40Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Or che siete speranze tradite"02:33
  • 41Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Quel curioso è partito"00:22
  • 42Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "A piangere ogn'ora Amor mi destina"01:29
  • 43Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Ah! tigre infedele"00:36
  • 44Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "È tormento troppo fiero"01:05
  • 45Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Di quel foglio, Atalanta"01:36
  • 46Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Dirà che amor per me"01:36
  • 47Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Voi quel foglio lasciate"00:12
  • 48Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Dirà che non m'amo"01:45
  • 49Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Ingannata Romilda!"00:38
  • 50Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "L'amerete? - L'amerò"00:48
  • 51Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Se bramate d'amar, chi vi sdegna"06:09
  • 52Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "L'amerò? Non fia vero"00:56
  • 53Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "È gelosia quella tiranna"02:47
  • 54Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Già che il duol non m'uccide"00:27
  • 55Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Anima infida, tradita io sono"01:37
  • 56Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "È pazzo affè"00:56
  • 57Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Quella che tutta fè"02:40
  • 58Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "La virtute sol potea"00:25
  • 59Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Ariodate"00:39
  • 60Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "La virtute sol potea"00:29
  • 61Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Per dar fine alla pena"01:05
  • 62Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Arsamene, ove andate?"01:22
  • 63Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Sì, la voglio e la otterò"02:45
  • 64Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "V'inchino, eccelso Rè"00:27
  • 65Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Voi mi dite che non l'ami"02:11
  • 66Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Saria lieve ogni doglia"00:14
  • 67Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Il core spera e teme"05:10
  • 68Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Me infelice"01:01
  • 69Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Del mio caro baco amabile"01:34
  • 70Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Gran pena è gelosia - Lo sa il mio cor piagato"01:35
  • 71Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Aspra sorte"01:07
  • 72Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Val più contento core"02:08
  • 73Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Vuò ch'abbian fine"01:27
  • 74Serse, HWV 40 / Act 2: "Chi cede al furore"04:28
  • Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3:
  • 75Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: Sinfonia03:26
  • 76Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Sono vani e pretesti"01:45
  • 77Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Nò, nò, se tu mi sprezzi"01:11
  • 78Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Ecco in segno di fè"01:28
  • 79Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Per rendermi beato"02:57
  • 80Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Ubbidirò al mio Rè?"01:03
  • 81Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Amor, tiranno Amor"03:49
  • 82Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Come già vi accennammo"00:48
  • 83Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Del Ciel d'amore sorte si bella"02:36
  • 84Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Il suo serto rifiuto"03:10
  • 85Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Cagion son io del mio dolore"01:55
  • 86Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Romilda infida"00:25
  • 87Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Troppo oltraggi la mia fede"02:24
  • 88Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Ciò che Giove destinò"00:41
  • 89Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Ecco lo sposo!"01:17
  • 90Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Chi infelice si trovò"00:27
  • 91Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Sene viene Ariodate"02:12
  • 92Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Crude furie degl'orridi abissi"03:45
  • 93Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Perfidi! e ancor osate"02:07
  • 94Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Caro voi siete all'alma"02:22
  • 95Serse, HWV 40 / Act 3: "Ritorna a noi la calma"01:34
  • Total Runtime02:49:14

Info for Handel: Serse

The entire opera of Serse by G.F. Handel with Franco Fagioli as Serse – which makes it the first recording of the opera with a counter tenor in the title role.

Serse is one of the most popular Handel operas. It is set in Persia (modern-day Iran) about 470 BC and is very loosely based upon Xerxes I of Persia. Serse, originally sung by a soprano castrato, is now regularly performed by a mezzo-soprano or countertenor.

The Italian libretto has a fascinating history, because it is based on one by Nicolò Minato from 1654 and was later adapted by Silvio Stampiglia (for an opera by Giovanni Bononcini in 1694). It is however unknown who eventually re-wrote the libretto for Handel.

The three-act opera was premiered in London on 15. April 1738 at the Londoner Kings' Theatre and sadly had no success at all. After 5 performances they had to take it off the schedule and the opera was forgotten for almost 200 years! The famous opening aria, "Ombra mai fu", sung by Serse to a plane tree (Platanus orientalis), is one of Handel’s best known melodies for its outstanding beauty.

Fun Fact: There is a rumor that in 1906 the aria was broadcast in the very first AM radio program and therefore was the first piece of music to be broadcast on radio.

Franco Fagioli, counter-tenor (Serse)
Vivica Genaux, mezzo (Arsamene)
Delphine Galou, contralto (Amastre)
Inga Kalna, soprano (Romilda)
Francesca Aspromonte, soprano (Atalanta)
Biagio Pizzuti, baritone (Elviro)
Vienna Academy Chamber Choir
Cantica Symphonia Choir
Giuseppe Maletto, direction Choir
Il Pomo d’Oro
Maxim Emelyanychev, harpsichord, conductor

Franco Fagioli,
is universally recognised as one of the finest countertenors performing today. His voice, with its huge three-octave range, has been unanimously praised for its beauty, while his dazzling virtuoso technique has set new performance standards.

Fagioli was born in San Miguel de Tucumán in Northern Argentina. Early training as a pianist in his home city was followed by vocal studies at the Instituto Superior de Arte at Buenos Aires’s world-famous Teatro Colón, where, advised by the renowned baritone Ricardo Yost, pianist Celina Lis and his then singing teacher Annelise Skovmand, he began specialising as a counter-tenor.

His international breakthrough came in 2003, when he won the prestigious Bertelsmann “Neue Stimmen” award. He was soon performing at such major venues as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, the Teatro Colón, the opera houses of Essen and Bonn, and at the Innsbruck, Halle, Karlsruhe and Ludwigsburg Festivals (singing the title-role in Gluck’s Ezio, now available on CD from Oehms Classics/SWR). He worked with such conductors as Riccardo Muti, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Gabriel Garrido, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Michael Hofstetter, René Jacobs, José Manuel Quintana, Reinhard Göbel , Marc Minkowski and Christophe Rousset.

His Giulio Cesare in Zurich (2005) caused a sensation, repeated in Oslo (2007) and Karlsruhe (2008). 2009 saw widely-acclaimed performances as Demetrio in Handel’s Berenice (conducted by Alan Curtis, and also released on Virgin Classics), and of Handel’s Teseo under Konrad Junghänel at the Stuttgart Staatsoper (available from Carus/SWR as a live CD recording). In Stuttgart he also gave his first European solo recital : a sell-out performance that received a standing ovation. He then made a notable return to his homeland as the lead in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at the Teatro Colón, and as Telemaco in the Argentinian premiere of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria for Buenos Aires Lírica.

In February 2010 he added another role to his list of Handelian heroes, Ariodante (again in Karlsruhe) and in April made his American début in the name-part of Chicago Opera Theater’s acclaimed production of Cavalli’s Giasone, conducted by Christian Curnyn. In May he returned to Argentina to perform the role of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, produced at the Teatro Argentino in La Plata as part of the country’s 200th anniversary celebrations, while August saw his first appearance at the Valle d’Itria festival in Martina Franca, singing the hero, Bertarido, in Handel’s Rodelinda: his first collaboration with conductor Diego Fasolis. For this he was awarded “Best Countertenor of the Year” by the Italian magazine L’Opera.

Fagioli’s solo disc Canzone e cantate appeared in November 2010, astounding the critics, who likened his singing on this “must have” recording to that of Cecilia Bartoli. During this season the great diva invited him to perform with her in concerts in Brussels and London, again receiving “rave” notices. He sang Nerone in two productions of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (at the Cologne Opera and the Semperoper, Dresden) and Hamor in Handel’s oratorio Jephtha in Halle and Göttingen. In the summer he returned to Martina Franca as Arsace in Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira, the composer’s only operatic role written for a castrato. For his achievements he was awarded the Premio Abbiati, the most prestigious music critics’ prize in Italy.

The 2011/12 season saw many appearances in concert (Froville, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe: Gala der Countertenöre, Schwetzingen, Dortmund: Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Budapest: J C Bach’s La Tempesta) and new productions of Giulio Cesare (at the Helsinki Opera), Poro (title-role for the Hallische Händel Festspiele) and Rinaldo (Teatro Colón). He showed extraordinary versatility in performing the soprano role of Arbace in Hasse’s Artaserse at Martina Franca in July (a role written for Farinelli), and, a month later at the Salzburg Festival under Marc Minkowski, singing another of Handel’s demanding alto castrato leads, Andronico in Tamerlano.

The present season began with a hugely successful project: the production, tour and recording (on Virgin Classics) of a rediscovered masterpiece, Leonardo Vinci’s last opera Artaserse (1730, setting a very similar libretto to Hasse), in which Fagioli again sang the bravura role of Arbace, originally conceived for another great castrato, Giovanni Carestini. This was a succès fou in France, Germany and Austria, receiving ecstatic reviews and a standing ovation at every venue. Further highly applauded performances have included the sacred: Handel’s Solomon at the Theater an der Wien and Jommelli’s Isacco, figura del Redentore in Salzburg; and the secular: Aci in Porpora’s Polifemo (another Farinelli role), and an appearance as soloist at the annual gala concert for the German AIDS Foundation. During the early summer he sings Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda in Krakow, and then recitals with the Accademia Montis Regalis under Alessandro de Marchi.

2013/14 opens with the release of an important recording celebrating the legacy of the castrato Gaetano Majorano, called Caffarelli, Farinelli’s supremely talented rival, as notorious for his off-stage antics as for his onstage successes: almost all tracks on this CD are world premiere recordings, and it promises to be a major event of the recording calendar. There will also be a series of concerts linked to this recording. Onstage, Fagioli will sing Athamas in a new production of Handel’s Semele at the Cuvilliers Theatre, Munich, Riccardo Primo at the Badisches Staatstheater, further performances of Vinci’s Artaserse in France, Germany and the Netherlands, and Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito. He further expands his repertoire with a new concert programme exploring music written for the last of the operatic castrati, Giambattista Velluti.

Booklet for Handel: Serse

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