Franco Fagioli in Händels opera Tolomeo
In London, Handel celebrated triumphs with his Italian operas. He composed the title role of Tolomeo for the famous castrato Senesino. It will be a pleasure when star countertenor Franco Fagioli performs this role in the Concertgebouw on 25 May.
Rivals in love and power
Georg Friedrich Handel partly owed his English success to the special soloists he had at his disposal. He composed Tolomeo for his favourite star cast. The title role, written for an alto castrato, was sung by Senesino. The sopranos Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni took on the two important female roles. The ladies were infamous, because a year earlier they had gotten into each other's throats on stage. The story unfolds between two brothers, Tolomeo and Alessandro, who are rivals for love and power.
Franco Fagioli on the trail of Senesino
The premiere of Tolomeo took place in 1728, but Handel continued tending with his composition for quite some time. A larger-scale, revised version appeared two years later. The Matinee presents the first performance on old instruments (with the original large orchestral line-up) of the 1730 version. The concert is led by conductor Giovanni Antonini, and Baroque enthusiasts are, of course, also looking forward to the countertenor Franco Fagioli, who will sing the role of Tolomeo and perform, among other things, the beautiful aria 'Torna sol...'.
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