sun 18/08/2019

Ottone in Villa, Barbican Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Ottone in Villa, Barbican Hall

Ottone in Villa, Barbican Hall

Vivaldi's very first opera proves too much of a good thing

Sonia Prina enjoys some rare moments of comedy as Vivaldi's gullible EmperorC. Ribaltaluce Studio
A beloved regular of concert hall, radio and recording, the music of Vivaldi has more or less failed to find its way into the contemporary opera house. If we are to believe his own claims, the composer died with over 90 operas to his credit – double the output of even the extraordinarily prolific Handel – making the omission all the more striking. And suspicious. In a field in which "lost" gems are resurrected every day, a measure of cynicism must inevitably accompany so apparently rich a furrow that so many have left untouched. Applying themselves with characteristic energy, Giovanni Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico last night made a compelling case for the defence in their concert performance of Vivaldi’s very first opera – Ottone in villa.

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