Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cavalli - Giasone - Jacobs, Concerto Vocale







The plot revolves around Jason's theft of the Golden Fleece, an undertaking in which he is helped by his lover, the Queen of Corinth (a sorceress) also called Medea. Jason and Medea are totally ruthless and incredibly immoral having conceived ,under the cover of darkness without having seen each other,twins. Mocked by Hercules (an Argonaut) for his (Jasons) effeminacy,Jason is also derided by Besso, the captain of his own guard, who comes across Jason and Francesco CavalliMedea sleeping nude in the open, sarcastically declares that Jason has :'the ram on his shoulders and the cow in his arms'. (The opera is filled with little comments like this o from various characters, usually at Jason's expense.) Isifil, Jason's deserted wife comes across as the one tragic character in this opera. However,thru a set of circumstances involving many twists and turns in the plot,Jason returns to his wife in the end, having been deserted by Medea, who returns to her husband (Aegeus).
"Giasone" is a good example of mid-century Venetian Opera- a powerful brew of the spectacular, the wickedly, and the sometimes deliciously humorous and touchingly pathetic. Rene Jacobs has done a marvelous job pulling this lengthy (3h53'56") opera together, but it's Cavalli's delightful music, along with a simply fabulous cast that keeps it going. To name just a few of them (there are 15 in all)who have the larger parts: Michael Chance (Jason) countertenor; Gloria Banditelli (Medea) Mezzo; and Catherine DuBosc (Isifile) soprano; Harry van der Kamp (Ercole) bass; Michael Schopper (Besso)bass ; Bernard Deletre (Oreste) tenor ; Dominique Visse (Delfa) countertenor; and Guy de May (Egeo) tenor. Vocally and dramatically excellent! A mesmerizing recording and marvelously entertaining!


flac, cover

1 comment:

  1. I don't know, why, but when I am listening this Cavalli's opera, it's principal characters Giasone and Medea I am imagining only so like they are painted in the John William's Waterhouse's picture "Jason and Medea" (1907), their faces (especially Medea's) are very simpaticos (though austere) there:

    Two scenes with Oreste and Demo is very funny, where Demo is stammering-bleating very comic ("").
    Opera is full of characters with especial individualities, I like it.


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