Franco Fagioli: Handel Recital

Saturday 20 January 2018 - 7pm
Approximate duration: 
2h with intermission

The great Gioachino Rossini created an expression which would meet with remarkable success. But when the composer of Tancredi, La Cenerentola and the Barber of Seville talked about belcanto, he wasn’t referring to the singers of his time but to the great 17th century castrati: he was nostalgically conjuring up the incomparable golden age of singing, which died at the beginning of the 19th century when Napoleon forbade castration. The greatest castrato was Farinelli of course, but the legendary singer had three equally brilliant competitors: Francesco Bernardi, called Il Senesino, Giovani Carestini and Gaetano Caffarelli, three giants of music who were idolised by the public.


Georg Friedrich Handel composed the most famous arias for them and the same arias three centuries later still move contemporary audiences to tears. In London, Handel gave Il Senesino’s rounded voice unforgettable roles: the title role of Giulio Cesare in Egitto and the role of Bertarido in Rodelinda. For Carestini, a singer many put above Farinelli, because of his perfect voice and musical line, Handel created striking characters such as Teseo in Arianna in Creta, and above all, Ariodante. Caffarelli received a wonderful gift with the role of Serse (with the iconic Ombra mai fu). And other castrati created grandiose roles: Rinaldo notably, which made the reputation of Handel in London, was created by the great Niccolo Grimaldi called Nicolini.

For the arias made for these vocal champions, an exceptional singer is needed and found in Franco Fagioli. With his dazzling high notes and powerful deep ones, his rich voice and wonderful acting, the Argentinian counter-tenor confirms he is an exceptional artist. Around him the famous virtuosos of Il Pomo d’Oro will rise to the occasion with the beauty of their sound, their renowned commitment and their discipline as an ensemble.


Vivi, tiranno - Handel - Franco Fagioli



Franco Fagioli : Handel Recital

Arias by Handel

Sinfonia en B-Flat Major HWV 338 - Allegro
« Presti omai »  aria from Giulio Cesare
« Se potessero i sospir miei » aria from Imeneo
« Agitato da fiere tempeste » aria from Orestes
Sonata in G Major op.5 n°4 - Allegro, A tempo ordinario, Allegro non presto, Passacaglia, Gigue, Menuet
« Cara Sposa » aria from Rinaldo
« Venti Turbini » aria from Rinaldo
« Mi lusinga il doci affetti » aria from Alcina
« Sento brillar nel sen » aria from Il Pastor Fido
Passacaille from Rodrigo
« Scherza infida » aria from d’Ariodante
Sinfonia of act III from Serse
« Crude Furie » aria from Serse



Franco Fagioli Counter-tenor 

Il Pomo d'Oro