Diego Fasolis injects ‘vitality’ and ‘melodrama’ into Dorilla in Tempe by Vivaldi

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COMPOSERS: Antonio Vivaldi
LABELS: NAIVE
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi Dorilla in Tempe
WORKS: Dorilla in Tempe
PERFORMER: Romina Basso, Serena Malfi, Marina de Liso, Lucia Cirillo, Sonia Prina, Christian Senn; Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera; I Barocchisti/ Diego Fasolis
CATALOGUE NO: OP 30560

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After a modest pause The Vivaldi Edition has resumed activity with the composer’s heroic pastoral Dorilla in Tempe. Vivaldi produced it in Venice for the 1726-27 autumn carnival season, and revived it on three occasions over the following eight years. The work is a pasticcio with eight arias by other composers including Hasse who contributed three of them.

Antonio Maria Lucchini’s three-act libretto is set in Thessaly where, after various shenanigans and misadventures of the kind familiar to devotees of Baroque opera, shepherd Elmiro is at last united with his beloved Dorilla. She has been having a rough time, first narrowly avoiding being sacrificed to a dragon and then almost drowning in despair at Elmiro’s imminent death. Nomio, who is the god Apollo in disguise, comes to the rescue in the nick of time. Constancy in love has won the day and a joyful chorus brings matters to a close.

With an accomplished line-up of solo and choral singers and his I Barocchisti instrumentalists, Diego Fasolis injects vitality and an appropriate sense of melodrama to Vivaldi’s score. No reader will be unfamiliar with the music of the opening chorus. I shall say no more but that it is a particularly happy instance of self-borrowing. Romina Basso brings innocent charm to the title role – her Act III aria ‘Il povero mio core’ is sung with touching pathos. Serena Malfi’s Elmiro is splendid, yielding appropriate bravura and moments of heightened passion. Among other roles Sonia Prina’s Eudamia is larger than life in the part taken in its first performances by Vivaldi’s pupil and lifelong companion Anna Girò.

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Nicholas Anderson