Catone in Utica (1737), written for the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, is one of Vivaldi’s last operatic masterpieces. Its splendid score, however, has come down to us incomplete: in fact the first of the three acts is missing. With infinite patience, Jean-Claude Malgoire has reconstructed the missing act, realising the recitative passages complying perfectly to Vivaldi’s stylistic idiom and integrating the missing arias with original arias taken from other operas written by the Red Priest. Thus Catone in Utica is at last available, in a world-première recording, in its complete form. This is unquestionably one of the highest moments in Vivaldi’s production of music theatre, a concise and highly efficacious score, rich in coups de théâtre and memorable arias, brought to us now in all its dazzling virtuoso beauty by a formidable singing cast. The recording was made in Turcoing, in France, during the performances given in November 2001 and has all the exciting freshness of a live recording in which the excellence of the performers is underlined by the audience’s enthusiastic applause.
The world premiere recording of an opera by a Neapolitan master who is fast gaining an exceptional modern reputation. Setting a libretto by Metastasio, Leonardo Vinci's opera was unveiled in Rome in 1728 with an all-male cast (women having been banned from the stage by the Pope). Max Emanuel Cencic gathers around him a superb cast led by Riccardo Minaci.
Naive’s Vivaldi Edition is proud to present the 15th opera, and the 50th release, in the acclaimed series. Conducted by one of the masters of baroque opera, Alan Curtis, and gathering an impressive, vocal cast from the top echelons of Baroque singing 'Catone in Utica' is one of the Venetian master’s great, late operas. Composed four years before his death and premiered at Verona in the spring of 1737, 'Catone' inaugurated Vivaldi's third and last opera season. The Red Priest's farewell to the Teatro dell’Accademia Filarmonica was to resemble the crowning piece of a fire-works display.
Soprano Simone Kermes sings a variety of repertoire from the Baroque to the Romantic, but it's in the Baroque where she has made the strongest impact, and she shines in this album of Vivaldi opera arias and solo cantatas. The recordings are culled from two earlier Deutsche Grammophon Archiv releases, Amor Profano and Amor Sacro, so fans of the singer who already own those albums would not be getting new material with this one. For other listeners, though, it's an attractive selection that showcases Kermes' versatility, as well as Vivaldi's.