Haendel escribe una ópera sobre Alejandro Magno. Hoy 14 de abril de 1759 fallece Haendel

Estrenada el 5 de mayo de 1726 Haendel nació el 23 de febrero de 1685 y murió el 14 de abril de 1759.

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Alessandro (Alejandro Magno) es una ópera de Georg Friedrich Händel (HWV 21) escrita en 1726.

Basada en el libreto en italiano de Paolo Rolli, la historia está basada en torno al viaje de Alejandro Magno a la India, donde conoce a Poro, el rey de esa región, objeto de otra ópera de Handel de ese nombre.

La obra tuvo su primera actuación el 5 de mayo de 1726 en el King's Theatre de Londres.

Actualmente, es poco representada; en las estadísticas de

Operabase aparece con sólo 3 representaciones en el período 2005-2010.

Personaje Tesitura Reparto del estreno
Alessandro alto castrato Francesco Bernardi "Senesino"
Rossane soprano Faustina Bordoni
Lisaura soprano Francesca Cuzzoni
Tassile Antonio Baldi
Clito bajo Giuseppe Maria Boschi
Leonato tenor Luigi Antinori
Cleone contralto Anna Vincenza Dotti

Alessandro llega a creer que es el hijo del dios Júpiter. Su ilusión es tal que exige ser adorado como un dios. Sus capitanes macedonios conspiran para curarlo de esta creencia, pero sus esfuerzos son inútiles. En el transcurso de la obra, Rossane y Lisaura son rivales por el afecto de Alessandro.
HANDEL Alessandro, HWV21
Artículo en la Revista Gramophone.

Studio and live: Greek and German recordings of Handel’s 1726 Alessandro Handel’s

Alessandro (1726) initiated the Royal Academy of Music’s new artistic policy of producing operas designed for a prestigious triumvirate of Italian singers: the castrato Senesino (Alexander the Great), established star soprano Cuzzoni (Lisaura) and the new recruit Faustina (Rossane). Sigiswald Kuijken’s pioneering recording was undermined by patchy singing, so two new dissimilar versions (Pan Classics beating Decca to it by just a few weeks) provide welcome new perspectives on this fascinating if uneven masterpiece.

George Petrou offers panache and fizzy unpredictability. Max Emanuel Cencic, Julia Lezhneva and Karina Gauvin benefit from working under studio conditions. Cencic’s derring-do as he storms the walls of Oxidraca in the vivid opening scene (‘Fra le stragi’) hint that he is clearly not going to play second fiddle to his rival queens. But for each dynamic display of pealing runs of florid coloratura (‘Vano amore’) there is also softly exquisite judgement of sentimental love music (‘Il cor mio’). Gauvin performs Lisaura’s ‘No, più soffrir non voglio’ with feisty springiness; Lezhneva turns out delectable embellishments in Rossane’s breezy nightingale aria ‘Alla sua gabbia d’oro’. This is an essential purchase just for the infectiously joyful performance of Rossane’s ‘Brilla nell’alma’; I can even forgive Lezhneva’s shameless showboating when she takes the final cadence up an octave – on rare occasions even pedantic critics have to go with the flow (Cencic’s oddly forceful ‘Pupille amate’ is not one of them).

Armonia Atenea’s playing is refreshingly free from formulaic complacency, although unwelcome mannerisms and laboured elements creep in from time to time: Rossane’s beguiling soliloquy that commences Act 2 is marred by exaggerated loudness at Handel’s forte markings and the final scene’s trio lacks the chamber intimacy and languid elegance it deserves.

The performance becomes peculiarly hard-edged during the last
stages of Act 3, as if to over-compensate for the actual drama having run out of steam.

Pan Classics’ live recording of the Karlsruhe Handel Festival’s staged production is inevitably less polished but from the first bars of the Overture it is obvious that the capable resident Baroque orchestra are no slouches: their accomplished strings often convey graceful shading, the oboes play with attractively fruity tones and the natural pacing of the opening scene’s battle sinfonias do not sacrifice stylised rhetorical clarity, unlike Petrou’s pursuit of warlike verisimilitude.

Michael Form’s steadier pulses allow subtler musical gestures to emerge more naturally (the gentler, unforced opening of Act 2 is simply gorgeous) but there is some bad form: tinkering reorchestration of numerous arias is misconceived (whether solo flute, oboe or piccolo recorder, it’s never an improvement upon Handel’s unison violins); the omission of Alessandro’s lovely ‘Da un breve riposo’ from the end of Act 1 and the excision of the gloriously beautiful trio from the scena ultima are nothing short of appalling vandalism. I don’t mind onstage noises such as clunking footsteps, contrived stage laughter, trickling water, the occasional loud death of a supernumerary, etc, and at least the Karlsruhe performers have lived and breathed their characters onstage.

The principal trio are intelligent Baroque specialists: Lawrence Zazzo sings less powerfully than Cencic but his stylish articulation of phrases is ideal for the abundance of lilting love arias; Raffaella Milanesi’s sultry Lisaura is suitably distinct in timbre and personality from Yetzabel Arias Fernández’s dignified Rossane (whose ‘Brilla nell’alma’ is superbly done). Petrou’s complete recording commands more secure plaudits but both new recordings offer rewarding perspectives in distinct ways.

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