Didone: Anna Bonitatibus Enea: Kresimir Spicer Iarba: Xavier Sabata Ecuba: Maria Streijffert Cassandra: Katherine Watson
Les Arts Florissants
Director: Clément Hervieu-Léger Conductor: William Christie
Recorded live at the Théâtre de Caen, October 2011
One of the first operas deserving of the name, Didone is our first surviving musical version of the famous episode in Virgil's Aeneid where the Trojan hero loves and then cruelly leaves the noble Dido. Cavalli learnt at the feet of Monteverdi, and his dramatic transformation of the story is all the more expressive for its intimacy, worthy of the examples set by his master. At the centre of this bold and simple staging -- the first opera production by comic actor Clément Hervieu-Léger -- is the Queen of Carthage herself, sung with uncompromising intensity by Anna Bonitatibus. William Christie and his singers and players show themselves entirely attuned to the world of Cavalli, where meaning and music fuse.
- Following on from the Handel, Montverdi and Rameau revivals, comes the re-discovery of this great Venetian composer Cavalli.
- With Anna Bonitatibus and Kresimir Spicer, early music specialist William Christie has brought together an impressive cast accompanied by Les Arts Florissant.
- Cavalli's was a pupil and later colleague of Monteverdi.
- Cavalli's librettists Gian Francesco Busenello was also the librettist of Monteverdi's last surviving opera L'Incoronazione di Poppea.
- Cavalli was part of the next generation after Monteverdi, a leading figure in musical life of Venice and considered to be the greatest living opera composer of his time. Indeed his solos and ensembles breathe a new spirit, his choruses are powerful, his recitatives come across as expressive, natural and touching and his talent for comic scenes clearly lives up to the commedia dell'Arte tradition.
What the press said: ''William Christie... a distribution of rare perfection to the Theatre Caen.'' www.lexpress.fr ''Les Arts Florissants are on great form and sound glorious.''Opéra Magazine