Rinaldo Alessandrini, Conductor and Harpsichord
Miah Persson, Soprano (Fortuna, Poppea)
Leonardo Cortellazzi, Tenor (Nerone)
Roberta Invernizzi, Soprano (Ottavia)
Sara Mingardo, Contralto (Ottone)
Salvo Vitale, Bass (Seneca, Tribuno 1)
Francesca Cassinari, Soprano (Virtù, Valletto)
Aurelio Schiavoni, Countertenor (Arnalta, Familiare 1)
Monica Piccinini, Soprano (Drusilla)
Anna Simboli, Soprano (Amore, Damigella)
Valerio Contaldo, Tenor (Soldato 1, Familiare 2, Lucano, Console 1)
Raffaele Giordani, Tenor (Soldato 2, Nutrice, Console 2)
Mauro Borgioni, Baritone (Mercurio, Familiare 3, Tribuno 2, Liberto)
MONTEVERDI L'incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) (concert performance)
La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic is sponsored by Chubb.
The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism has granted La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic its official support (“Patrocinio”) in recognition of Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Italy’s extraordinarily rich cultural legacy.
Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism in Rome; the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC; and the Consulate General of Italy in New York.
Founded in 1984, Concerto Italiano's history overlaps with that of the revival of early music in Italy. Monteverdi, Bach, and Vivaldi have been the primary composers over which the group has been able to renew the language of ancient music, revealing new aesthetics and rhetorical aspects. The ensemble has appeared throughout Europe, as well as across the world in such cities as Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, New York, and Washington, DC.
Concerto Italiano has been recently involved in the complete Monteverdi opera cycle at La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris. In 2016, the ensemble made its debut in Australia and New Zealand, performing Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine. The group has also been touring with the RIAS Kammerchor in a monumental program of roman sacred music and Alessandro Scarlatti's oratorio Cain, overo Il primo omicidio. In 2017, Concerto Italiano will be performing works by Monteverdi--Vespro della Beata Vergine, Orfeo, and L'incoronazione di Poppea--all over the world, including stops in China, Japan, and Australia, as well as US and European cities.
Concerto Italiano records exclusively for Naïve. Recent releases include Monteverdi's Orfeo and Madrigals of War and Love, Book VIII; a collection of sacred music by Alessandro Scarlatti; and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (hailed by BBC Music Magazine as the best version ever recorded). The impressive array of critical awards received for these recordings--from Gramophone to Diapason and many other authorities--confirms the outstanding quality of Concerto Italiano's performances.
This April, Naïve will release Concerto Italiano's newest recording of works by Monteverdi, Night: Stories of Lovers and Warriors, conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini.
Founder and artistic director of Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini is considered to be one of the leading experts in interpreting Baroque works. He has also dedicated himself to the symphonic repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries. A frequent guest conductor, he has led orchestras in Europe, the US, Canada, and Japan, including the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and Freiburger Barockorchester.
Recent opera highlights include Don Giovanni at Bergen National Opera, Giulio Cesare at Opéra de Toulon, Orlando at Welsh National Opera and Semperoper Dresden, Le nozze di Figaro at Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, Così fan tutte at the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, as well as concerts with the Hamburger Symphoniker, Munich Radio Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Filarmonica Toscanini, and RIAS Kammerchor, with which he was conductor-in-residence during the 2015-2016 season.
In 2016-2017, Mr. Alessandrini conducts the Munich Radio Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra (Austria), hr-Sinfonieorchester, the ensemble of the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, and Concerto Italiano.
His extensive discography includes Italian and German repertoire, which has earned him the Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or, and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
In addition to his activities as a conductor, Rinaldo Alessandrini performs as an organist, cembalist, and pianist. He is a member of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana and was appointed Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2003. He is also the artistic director of the Purtimiro Festival in Lugo, Italy.
Internationally renowned Swedish soprano Miah Persson has worked all over the world as a concert artist and recitalist, as well as on the operatic stage. Career highlights include her opera debut in Salzburg in 2004 as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier and then at the Metropolitan Opera; Sifare in Mitridate, re di Ponto under Marc Minkowski in Salzburg; Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Glyndebourne Festival; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte on a concert tour of Europe with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin conducted by René Jacobs; and Countess Almaviva in concert performances of Le nozze di Figaro with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in Berlin and New York. She also made her celebrated debut at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Ms. Persson's extensive concert repertoire includes Strauss's Four Last Songs, Mahler's symphonies No. 2 and No. 4, Schumann's Faust Scenes, Peer Gynt at the Grafenegg Festival and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Bach's B-Minor Mass at Teatro La Fenice and St. Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She has worked with numerous conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Harding, and Philippe Herreweghe. Engagements in the 2016-2017 season and beyond include Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira) with Opéra de Lyon at the Royal Opera House Muscat, Haydn's Nelson Mass at the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum in Salzburg, Mahler's Symphony No. 2 at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, a US recital tour with Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau, and Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira) at Barcelona's Liceu.
Leonardo Cortellazzi graduated with degrees in economics/commerce and singing. In 2007, he debuted at La Scala in a concert conducted by Riccardo Chailly, and also performed Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore with Myung-Whun Chung and Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Ottavio Dantone. He performs on the stage of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in Don Giovanni, Pagliacci, and Risorgimento; Teatro La Fenice in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte; Teatro alla Scala in Le nozze di Figaro, Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, L'occasione fa il ladro, and Don Pasquale; and Circuito Lirico lombardo in Il cappello di paglia di Firenze and Die Zauberflöte. He sang L'elisir d'amore at Opéra de Massy, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas) in Florence; The Makropulos Affair at Teatro La Fenice; Falstaff at Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto and Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari; Pagliacci in Avignon; La traviata at Teatro La Fenice; and L'incoronazione di Poppea at Teatro alla Scala. Among his recent and future engagements are Roméo et Juliette (Tybalt) at Arena di Verona, Mirandolina and La traviata at Teatro La Fenice, Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno and L'incoronazione di Poppea at Teatro alla Scala and in New York, L'elisir d'amore in Muscat, Falstaff and Zenobia in Palmira at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Don Giovanni in Liège, Anna Bolena in Lisbon, and Die Zauberflöte and Idomeneo in Florence.
Italian soprano Roberta Invernizzi is one of the most sought-after soloists in the field of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She sings in many of the most important theaters in Europe and the United States, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Fabio Biondi, Ivor Bolton, Frans Brüggen, Alan Curtis, Ottavio Dantone, Gustavo Dudamel, Antonio Florio, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonhardt, and Jordi Savall. She was chosen by Mr. Harnoncourt to perform in the 200th anniversary celebration of Vienna's Musikverein. She has been recently acclaimed at La Scala as Armida in Rinaldo with Ottavio Dantone and Monteverdi's Orfeo with Rinaldo Alessandrini. She sings regularly at the Salzburg Festival, including the title role in Hasse's Sant'Elena al Calvario with Fabio Biondi, Mozart's C-Minor Mass with Gustavo Dudamel, and Jommelli's Isacco figura del redentore with Diego Fasolis. She has made more than 100 recordings, many of them world premieres, that have been awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Gramophone Award, and Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. She has also won the MIDEM Classical Award and the prestigious Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize for her solo CD of Handel works.
Winner of a 2009 Abbiati Prize, Sara Mingardo is one of the genuine contralto voices on the music scene today. She has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Ivor Bolton, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Ottavio Dantone, Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Riccardo Muti, Trevor Pinnock, Christophe Rousset, Jordi Savall, Jeffrey Tate, and Rinaldo Alessandrini. Among her recent engagements, she has performed Handel's Messiah under Nathalie Stutzmann with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at Teatro alla Scala under Diego Fasolis; Pergolesi's Stabat Mater in Rome with Rinaldo Alessandrini; Brahms's Alto Rhapsody at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under Daniele Gatti; Vivaldi's Stabat Mater at the Musica Sacra Festival in Münster; Bach's St. John Passion with Musica Saeculorum in Essen and Aix-en-Provence; Mendelssohn's Elijah with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Daniele Gatti; a solo recital at the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno in Aix-en-Provence under Emmanuelle Haïm; Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Lucerne Festival under Riccardo Chailly; L'incoronazione di Poppea at Teatro alla Scala with Rinaldo Alessandrini; Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone in Madrid; and Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at the Staatsoper in Berlin. Future plans include Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario at Teatro Regio in Turin; Mozart's Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Nathalie Stutzmann; Brahms's Alto Rhapsody at Opera di Firenze; and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Penelope) at Staatsoper Hamburg under Jean-Christophe Spinosi.
Salvo Vitale began his vocal studies at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado in Milan. Throughout his concert career, he has interpreted repertoire that ranges from madrigals to cantatas, oratorios to Baroque operas. Appreciated for both his deep bass voice and wide range, he has played, among others, all the bass roles in Monteverdi's works, including performances at the Paris Opéra and Teatro alla Scala in Milan under the direction of Rinaldo Alessandrini. Thanks to his stentorian yet flexible voice, he is an appreciated performer of oratorio roles of great dramatic force and at the same time sought for his vocal sensitivity by the most prestigious madrigal ensembles. Among the many renowned stages on which he has performed, perhaps most notable are the Vienna Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Concertgebouw Brugge, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Royal Opera of Versailles, and Teatro Regio in Turin. Among his most recent recordings are a collaboration with Cecilia Bartoli in Steffani's Stabat Mater for Decca, Monteverdi's Orfeo and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria for Glossa, and Perez's Mattutino de'Morti for Sony.
Francesca Cassinari studied vocal performance, later specializing in Baroque repertoire and chamber music. She has attended master classes led by Claudio Cavina, Gloria Banditelli, Claudine Ansermet, and Lorna Windsor. She has devoted her career to vocal polyphony, singing with the most eminent Italian ensembles. Ms. Cassinari is a member of La Compagnia del Madrigale, La Venexiana, Il Canto di Orfeo, and La Fonte Musica, in addition to performing with La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Concerto Italiano, La Divina Armonia, L'Astrée, ensemble Pian&Forte, Stile Galante, Cantica Symphonia, and ClubMédiéval at many Italian and European music festivals and theaters. With La Compagnia del Madrigale, she has recorded Monterverdi's Pianto della Madonna, and madrigals by Gesualdo and Marenzio, which earned a Diapason d'Or de l'année and Gramophone Award. With La Venexiana, she recorded Monteverdi's Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, as well as Luzzaschi's Concerto delle Dame. She has also recorded with La Fonte Musica and Cantica Symphonia.
Countertenor Aurelio Schiavoni graduated from the Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory in Bari, where he studied both piano and singing. He also earned a master's degree in Renaissance and Baroque singing at the Conservatory "Arrigo Pedrollo" of Vicenza. His first operatic appearance was as Filindo in Latilla's La finta cameriera. He has since appeared as Alceste/Demetrio in the first contemporary performance of Leo's Demetrio. At the 40th Festival della Valle d'Itria, he performed the role of Eneo in Steffani's La Lotta d'Ercole con Acheloo. His repertoire also includes such sacred works as Scarlatti's Caino ovvero il primo omicidio, Handel's Dixit Dominus, Vivaldi's Beaturs vir and Cur sagittas, cur tela, and Pergolesi's Vespro della Beata Vergine. In March 2014, he performed a solo recital at the European Day of Early Music in Copenhagen. He was awarded first prize several competitions, including the fifth Prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli competition in Vignanello, the sixth Francesco Provenzale competition in Naples, and the first "Città dei Sassi competition in Matera.
After studying violin performance, Monica Piccinini trained in opera under Franca Mattiucci and Elena Kriatchko, earning a degree with honors. Her stage debut was as Musica and Eurydice in a production of Monteverdi's Orfeo at Madrid's Teatro Real under Jordi Savall. She went on to perform as Morgana in Handel's Alcina at Opéra Royal of Versailles, Bellezza in Handel's Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Amore in Cavalli's La virtù degli strali d'Amore at Teatro Malibran in Venice, Claudia in Scarlatti's Massimo Puppieno at Teatro Politeama in Palermo, Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria under Rinaldo Alessandrini, and Vagaus in Vivaldi's Juditha triumphans. She has also performed many sacred works, among them Mozart's "Coronation" Mass and Mass in C Minor; Boccherini's Stabat Mater; Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, and Mass in B Minor; Handel's Dixit Dominus; Vivaldi's Magnificat; and many others. She is regularly performing with ensembles, among them Concerto Italiano, Les Talens Lyriques, Europa Galante, Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Accademia Bizantina, La Venexiana, Al Ayre Español, Concerto Romano, Concerto Palatino, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Munich Radio Orchestra, and Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla.
Anna Simboli studied piano and cello before turning to singing, studying at the Conservatorio di Musica "A. Boito" in Parma and the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence. She specialized in Baroque repertoire with Rossana Bertini, and in lied with William Matteuzzi and Bernadette Manca di Nissa. She maintains an intense concert schedule as a soloist in chamber music and operatic roles, including Monteverdi's Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, and L'incoronazione di Poppea; Cavalli's Eliogabalo and Ercole amante; Cesti's La Dori; Vivaldi's Orlando furioso; Handel's Orlando; and Caccini's Euridice. She regularly collaborates with Concerto Italiano, De Labyrintho, I Barocchisti, Atalanta Fugiens, Mantua Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Mozart. Together with harpsichordist Francesco Moi, she co-founded the ensemble Accademia degli Invaghiti. She has performed at the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro Regio and Lingotto in Turin, and Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. Her discography includes more than 50 titles, many of which have won awards such as the Diapason d'Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, and Gramophone Award. She teaches Renaissance and Baroque singing at the Conservatorio di Musica "Stanislao Giacomantonio" in Cosenza.
After focusing on classical guitar, Valerio Contaldo studied voice with Gary Magby at the Lausanne Conservatory. He attended master classes led by Christa Ludwig, Alain Garichot, Julius Drake, Klesie Kelly, and David Jones. He was a finalist of the Leipzig International Bach Competition in 2008. Recent operatic engagements include Corebo and Eolo in Cavalli's La Didone with Les Arts Florissants; Jupiter in Handel's Semele and Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte at Opéra de Nice; Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at Opéra de Paris; and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria at Lincoln Center as part of the White Light Festival. Well versed in the oratorio repertoire, he's performed Mozart's Requiem; Haydn's The Creation and The Seasons; Honegger's Le roi David; Rossini's Petite messe solennelle; Bach's Passions, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B Minor; Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine; Handel's Messiah; Mendelssohn's Paulus; and Bruckner's Te Deum. He performs at major European festivals and in concert halls around the world under the batons of prestigious conductors, including Rinaldo Alessandrini, Marc Minkowski, Michel Corboz, William Christie, Ton Koopman, Kristjan Järvi, and Leonardo García Alarcón. His next projects include the title role in Monteverdi's Orfeo with Cappella Mediterranea and Bach's St. John Passion with Les Musiciens du Louvre. He also collaborates with various ensembles, including Gli Angeli Genève, Ricercar Consort, and l'Ensemble vocal Séquence.
Raffaele Giordani holds a master's degree in chemistry from Italy's University of Ferrara. His passion for music compelled him to attend the Conservatorio Frescobaldi in Ferrara, which is where he earned his master's degree in Renaissance and Baroque singing. He collaborates with an extensive list of the best Italian and European ensembles, including Concerto Italiano, La Venexiana, Odhecaton, De Labyrintho, and Vox Altera. He is also a founding member of La Compagnia del Madrigale. His solo Baroque repertoire includes Bach's St. John Passion, Magnificat, and Easter Oratorio; Handel's Messiah and Anthems; Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda; and Mozart's Requiem. He has performed under the batons of Rinaldo Alessandrini, Michael Radulescu, Ottavio Dantone, Fabio Bonizzoni, and Diego Fasolis. His opera roles include Bastien in Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne and Apollo in Monteverdi's Orfeo, as well as performances of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea. He has also appeared as Aminta in Peri's Euridice and as a shepherd in Caccini's Euridice. His recordings have won several awards, including the Diapason d'Or de l'année, Choc de l'année, and a MIDEM Classical Award.
Mauro Borgioni studied voice at the Civic School of Milan, Conservatory of Cesena, and Fondation Royaumont of Paris. He has collaborated with various orchestras and ensembles, such as La Venexiana, Concerto Italiano, Coro della Radio Svizzera, Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Die Kölner Akademie, and Concerto Romano. He has also worked with important conductors and musicians, including Claudio Cavina, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Diego Fasolis, Timothy Brock, Juraj Valčuha, Dante Anzolini, Roberto Zarpellon, and Lorenzo Ghielmi. His repertoire includes masterpieces like Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine and operas; Bach's St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, and Mass in B Minor; Handel's Messiah and La resurrezione; Haydn's Nelson Mass; Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore; Faure's Requiem; Debussy's Pelléas et Melisande; Britten's Noye's Fludde and Curlew River; and Philip Glass's Akhnaten.