WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Vivaldi: L'olimpiade / Alessandrini, Mingardo, Invernizzi


Release Date: 01/14/2003 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30316   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Marianna KulikovaSergio ForestiLaura GiordanoRiccardo Novaro,   ... 
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 56 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the first complete recording of this opera. A somewhat abbreviated version was available on Nuova Era a while ago, nicely led by René Clemencic and featuring some very odd singing by a male soprano in the role of Aminta, the servant of our hero, Licida, which was sung by counter-tenor Gerard Lesne. While those two bits of casting probably are more historically correct (the roles were taken by castrati at the premiere in 1740), the performers on this new recording, a female soprano (Laura Giordano) and female contralto (Sara Mingardo), are far better singers and are thoroughly believable. Enough about that.

The opera takes place around the Olympic games: King Clistene (baritone Riccardo Novaro) has promised his
Read more daughter Aristea (contralto Sonia Prina) to the winner, but she loves, and is loved by, Megacle (soprano Roberta Invernizzi). Into this mix comes Argene (mezzo Marianna Kulikova), who was romantically linked to Licida, who now loves Aristea; but because Licida has no chance of winning the Games he asks his friend Megacle to play, disguised as him. Megacle wins, but Aristea thinks it's Licida and is downcast since she loves Megacle; Argene tells the king about the switcheroo of identities. Licida is exiled but is later discovered to be the king's long-lost son. He's pardoned, he weds Argene, and Aristea and Megacle wed too. Alcandro (bass Sergio Foresti) is a confidant of Clistene's and shows up occasionally.

The performance is first rate, with Rinaldo Alessandrini leading his Concerto Italiano with verve and the type of clean attacks that this rambling plot requires. The secret is to make each recitative and aria an event, and he knows how to achieve just that. Most of the arias are scored for strings alone (in different formations) but there's never a sameness; when the winds show up they're very effective. Most of the arias are short--unlike those in many other Vivaldi operas--and tend to be allegro or faster; the action seems quicker than it is.

Sara Mingardo as Licida almost walks away with the show; her stunning contralto is used with grace and power and she gives us this character's many facets. Laura Giordano's pretty, light soprano gets through the showpiece "Siam navi all'onde" in Act 2 with incredible ease and virtuosity, and if she tends to undercharacterize elsewhere, it's the libretto's fault. Roberta Invernizzi is a strong, noble Megacle, the good friend and winner, and Sonia Prina sings Aristea's pretty, nice-girl music with radiant mid-range tone. The lower voices and mezzo Kulikova are all good but lack distinction. Vivaldi and/or Baroque opera fans will need no coaxing to buy this set; others might have to work a bit getting used to the format. But I doubt this performance will be bettered.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. L'Olimpiade, RV 725 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Marianna Kulikova (Mezzo Soprano), Sergio Foresti (Bass), Laura Giordano (Soprano),
Riccardo Novaro (Baritone), Sonia Prina (Alto), Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734; Venice, Italy 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Sinfonia: Allegro
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Sinfonia: Andante
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Sinfonia: Allegro
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 1: Ho risoluto, Aminta (Licida, Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 2: Megacle e tecco (Megacle, Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 2: Superbo di me stesso (Megacle)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 3: Oh generoso amico! (Licida, Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 3: Quel destrier, che allabergo e vicino (Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 3: Pria dell'esito ancor lieto si finge (Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 3: Il fidarsi della speme (Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 4: Oh care selve, oh cara felice liberta! (Chorus, Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 4: Ecco Aristea (Argene, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 5: Figlia, tutto e compito (Clistene, Aristea, Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 5: Del destin non vi lagnate (Clistene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 6: Udisti, o principesa? (Argene, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 6: E troppo spietato (Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 7: Dunque Licida ingrato (Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 7: Piu non si trovano (Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 8: Licida (Megacle, Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 8: E ben, riposa: addio (Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 9: Che intesi, eterni dei! (Megacle)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 10: Stranier (Aristea, Megacle, Alcandro)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act I Scene 10: Ne' giornitui fellici ricordati di me (Megacle, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 1: Ed ancor della pugna l'esito non si sa? (Argene, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 2: Fortunate novelle (Alcandro, Argene, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 2: Se tu sprezzar pretendi (Alcandro)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 3: Ah, dimmi, o principessa (Argene, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 3: E tu non senti (Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 4: E trovar non pos'io (Argene, Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 4: Per que' tanti suoi sospiri (Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 5: Fra lr follie diverse (Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 5: Siam navi all'onde algenti (Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 6: Giovane valaroso (Clistene, Alcandro, Megacle, Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 7: All'odiose noze come vitima io vengo all'ara avanti (Aristea, Licida, Clistene, Megacle, Alcandro)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 7: Qual serpe tortuosa (Clistene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 8: Fra l'amico e l'amante che faro sventurato (Megacle, Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 9: Oh ricordi crudeli! (Megacle, Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 9: Misero me, che veggo! (Megacle)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 10: Intese tutto Aristea? (Licida, Megacle)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 10: Se cerca, se dice (Megacle)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 11: Che laberinto e questo! (Licida, Arestea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 11: Tu da me dividi (Aristea)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 12: A me barbaro! Oh numi! (Licida, Argene)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 13: In angustia piu fiera (Licida, Aminta)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 14: Dove son! (Licida, Alcandro)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 15: Con questo ferro indegno (Licida)
L'Olimpiade, RV 725: Act II Scene 15: Gemo in un punto e fremo (Licida)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook