Performance Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | 7:30 PM


L'Amore Innamorato: Arias by Francesco Cavalli

Zankel Hall
A golden age of Italian music shines in this concert of opera arias by 17th-century Venetian master Cavalli along with dances by two of his contemporaries. Cavalli was a prominent figure in Venetian opera, and his arias are melodically inspired with flashes of dramatic virtuoso fire. “Gloriously sweet-toned” (The Guardian), soprano Nuria Rial joins the daring early-music ensemble L’Arpeggiata in its eagerly awaited return to Carnegie Hall.


  • L'Arpeggiata
    Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director and Theorbo
  • Nuria Rial, Soprano


  • CAVALLI Sinfonia from Giasone
  • CAVALLI "Piante ombrose" from Calisto
  • CAVALLI "Verginella, io morir vo" from Calisto
  • CAVALLI "Ninfa bella" from Calisto
  • CAVALLI "Piangete" from Egisto
  • CAVALLI Canzon from Musiche Sacre
  • CAVALLI "Non è maggior piacere" from Calisto
  • CAZZATI Ciaccona
  • CAVALLI "Restino imbalsamente" from Calisto
  • CAVALLI "Vieni, vieni in questo seno" from Rosinda
  • L. ALLEGRI Canario
  • CAVALLI "Che città" from Ormindo
  • CAVALLI Sinfonia from Eliogabalo
  • CAVALLI "Dammi morte" from Artemisia
  • CAVALLI "L'alma fiacca svani" from Didone
  • CAVALLI "Alle ruine del mio regno" from Didone

  • Encores:
  • LE BAILLY Yo soy la locura
  • TRAD. Tarantella Napoletana


  • L'Arpeggiata

    Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Christina Pluhar, L'Arpeggiata is composed of some of today's finest soloists who work in collaboration with the most exceptional singers from the Baroque music world. L'Arpeggiata's performances are based on instrumental improvisation and singing that focuses on vocal interpretation influenced by traditional music.

    Since its founding, L'Arpeggiata has received incredible responses from audiences and outstanding critical acclaim. Its albums-including La Villanella; Homo fugit velut umbra; La Tarantella; Teatro d'Amore; All' Improvviso; Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo; Los Impossibles; Via Crucis; and
    Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine-have earned a string of accolades, among them ECHO Klassik and Edison Classical Music awards. Los Pájaros Perdidos (2012) is devoted to traditional and Baroque music from Latin America, and Mediterraneo (2013) featuresfado singer Mísia.

    L'Arpeggiata has participated in many festivals around the world, including the London Festival of Baroque Music, Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Festival Baroque de Pontoise, Printemps des arts in Nantes, Rencontres Musicales de Vézelay, Festival International de Musiques Sacrées in Fribourg, Festival de l'Abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thiérache, Festival de Sablé, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, and Hong Kong Arts Festival.

    Christina Pluhar

    Having established a highly successful career as a multifaceted instrumentalist in early music and Baroque repertoire, Christina Pluhar has come to be identified in the 21st century as the founder and music director of the vocal-instrumental ensemble L'Arpeggiata. Ms. Pluhar leads this group in similar repertoire, but with a focus on Italian fare and an infusion of jazz and folk elements. A master of several instruments-including Baroque guitar, Renaissance lute, archlute, theorbo, and Baroque harp-she has performed both as soloist and continuo player throughout Europe, the UK, and Australia. She has performed with many famous early-music ensembles and has been featured with L'Arpeggiata on numerous recordings for such labels as Alpha Productions, EMI, and Naïve.

    Born in Graz, Austria, Ms. Pluhar studied lute at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She also studied with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, and with Mara Galassi at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan. She moved to Paris in 1992 and began performing regularly with various ensembles and Baroque orchestras in Europe. Since 1993, she has been conducting master classes at Graz University. She has served as professor of Baroque harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague since 1999.

    In 2000, Ms. Pluhar founded L'Arpeggiata. Choosing some of the finest artists in Europe as members, L'Arpeggiata achieved success virtually overnight with its first CD, La Villanella (a collection of Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger vocal works). Ms. Pluhar has since led L'Arpeggiata in joint concerts with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, The King's Singers, and Corsican vocal ensemble Barbara Furtuna. Acclaimed recordings include the albums La Tarantella, All' Improvviso (with Gianluigi Trovesi), and Los Impossibles (with The King's Singers); as well as the Virgin Classics recordings Teatro d'Amore (with Philippe Jaroussky and Nuria Rial), Via Crucis (with Barbara Furtuna), Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine
    , Los Pájaros Perdidos, and Mediterraneo (with fado singer Mísia).

    In 2012, L'Arpeggiata was the first Baroque ensemble to be named a Perspectives artist at Carnegie Hall.

    More Info

  • Nuria Rial

    Nuria Rial's musical education began in Catalonia, where she studied piano and received the honor prize in singing. She continued her studies at the Musik-Akademie Basel with Kurt Widmer and earned an advanced diploma in singing. During this time, she received prizes from the Helvetia Patria Jeunesse Foundation and Pro Europa-European Foundation for Culture.

    Ms. Rial has appeared as a soloist with a number of the leading ensembles and orchestras in Europe, including Kammerorchester Basel, Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Köln, Seville Baroque Orchestra, Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and Les Musiciens du Louvre. She has collaborated with conductors René Jacobs, Giovanni Antonini, Paul Goodwin, Lawrence Cummings, Pierre Cao, and Howard Griffiths, among others. Ms. Rial performs in major festivals across Europe and as far afield as Bolivia, Mexico, Cuba, and Israel.

    Ms. Rial's work in opera has led to productions at some of the leading opera houses in Europe, including La Monnaie in Brussels, the Berlin Staatsoper, and Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. She
    recently performed the role of Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.

    Ms. Rial's extensive discography includes recordings with Harmonia Mundi (France), Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Virgin Records, Oehms Classics, Mirare, Alpha, and Glossa Music.

    More Info

At a Glance

Claudio Monteverdi may have laid the foundation for opera as we know it, but it was Francesco Cavalli—who started his career as a choirboy under Monteverdi at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice—who transformed dramma per musica (“drama for music”) into a wildly popular art form. In the 1640s and ’50s, Venice’s public opera houses competed for the honor of staging Cavalli’s works; many were performed throughout Italy and other parts of Europe as well. Largely thanks to him, one foreign visitor went so far as to declare that “the invention of opera is due to the city of Venice.”

Alexandre-Toussaint Limojon de Saint-Didier had much else to say, both pro and con, about Venetian opera. Although he admired Venice’s “large and stately” theaters, the French nobleman found the elaborate stage effects only “sometimes passable and often ridiculous” and the choreography deplorable (“one would imagine these dancers wore lead in their shoes”). Yet all these “imperfections” were offset by the excellence of the Italian singers and the brilliant and richly expressive music that Cavalli and his contemporaries wrote for them. “Their airs are languishing and touching; the whole composition is mingl’d with agreeable songs that raise the attention.”

Blending high drama and pathos with a ribald and often earthy sense of humor, Cavalli’s Calisto, Giasone, Ormindo, and other operas were hits in their day and continue to delight audiences—and challenge singers—today.
Program Notes


An Introduction to Before Bach

Before Bach
This performance is part of Before Bach, and Signatures.

Part of