The history of opera is inseparably linked with the biographies of singers; audiences have always been fascinated by both musical prowess and behind the scenes goings-on.
The battle for prestige and fame was heated and passionate in the Baroque era, with legendary rivalries. Fiercely competitive, Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni were among the most acclaimed divas of the age, resorting to fisticuffs on stage.
Present-day prima donnas Vivica Genaux, Sonia Prina, Marry-Ellen Nesi and Romina Basso now follow in the footsteps of their fervid predecessors, presenting on disc a tongue-in-cheek survey of standout arias for mezzo soprano and contralto.
Three star mezzos and a magnificent top contralto are accompanied by the superb Greek orchestra Armonia Atenea under conductor George Petrou, winner of Germany’s prestigious ECHO Klassik Prize.
Bononcini, G B:
Spera che questo cor (from Astianatte)
Daranno all’ira mia (from Euristeo)
Dieux puissants que j'atteste… Jupiter, lance la foudre (from Iphigénie en Aulide)
Le belle immagini d'un dolce amore (from Paride ed Elena)
Hasse, J A:
Solca il mar (from Tigrane)
Fra quest’ombre (from Solimano)
Pallido il sole (from Artaserse)
Ti parli nel seno speranza ed amore (from Siface)
Al torrente che ruina (from Siroe re di Persia)
Amor, dover, rispetto (from Adriano in Siria)
Ti calpesto, o crudo Amore (from Astianatte)
Vedro con mio diletto (from Giustino)
Vivica Genaux, Sonia Prina, Mary-Ellen Nesi and Romina Basso