Ann Hallenberg & iL POMO d’ORO
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
20:00h at Castle of ‘s- Gravenwezel
100/75€ per person
The program presented by Ann Hallenberg for INSPIRATUM is a homage to the historical roman figure of Agrippina, one of the earliest historical women to inspire the fantasy of librettists and composers – instead of mythological and imaginary characters. Ann Hallenberg and a team of musicologists researched the musical archives of Europe and the USA to unearth all surviving operatic manuscripts containing the figure of Agrippina, and the concert given at s’Gravenwezel on April 30th was an appetizer for the forthcoming recording of this project.
Apart from Handel’s famous opera “Agrippina”, all music in this concert was performed for the first time in modern history!
There are in fact three roman ladies wearing this name: Agrippina the younger (mother of Nero), Agrippina the older (mother of Agrippina the younger), and Agrippina Vipsania (stepsister of Agrippina the older). And interestingly all three appear in our operas. Handel wrote his early masterpiece about the mean, scheming Agrippina the younger, and she features also in the works of Orlandini, Perti and Graun. Legrenzi instead chose her very virtuous mother as his heroine, whereas Sammartini wrote his opera about Agrippina Vipsania, the unhappy wife of Emperor Tiberius.
This biography of a roman dysfunctional family is also a fascinating journey through the history of baroque opera. The earliest piece, Legrenzi’s “Germanico sul Reno” dates from 1676 and is with his very short arias a typical example of early baroque style. And the latest work, Graun’s “Britannico” from 1752, was written only four years before the birth of Mozart, at the very end of the musical baroque period.
- text by Ann Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg-