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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall


La festa d'Arpeggiata
Saturday, October 7, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Christina Pluhar by Marco Borggreve
An improvised double bass solo with a riff on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” a rousing encore of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and an impassioned Purcell song are some of the delights L’Arpeggiata brings to every performance. It is also one of the finest early-music ensembles currently performing. For this program, the artists focus on the glorious vocal music of such 17th-cenutry composers as Cavalli, Cesti, and Monteverdi, while also sampling robust Italian folk music.


Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director and Theorbo
Céline Scheen, Soprano
Giuseppina Bridelli, Mezzo-Soprano
Vincenzo Capezzuto, Alto


MONTEVERDI Toccata from Orfeo
STROZZI "Che si può fare"
TRAD. "Ninna, Nanna Sopra la Romanesca"
TRAD. "Pizzica di San Vito"
PURCELL "Music for a while" from Oedipus, King of Thebes
PURCELL "'Twas within a furlong of Edinborough Town" from The Mock Marriage
MONTEVERDI "Amore, dicea" from Lamento della ninfa
ANTICO "Silenzio d’amuri"
MONTEVERDI "Pur ti miro" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
PURCELL "Strike the viol, touch the lute" from Come, ye sons of art away
CESTI "Disserratevi abissi" from L’Argia
PLAZA "El curruchá"
PURCELL "When I am laid" from Dido and Aeneas
CAVALLI "Ninfa bella" from Calisto
TRAD. "La llorona"
CAVALLI "Dell’antro magico" from Giasone
Improvisation: Canario
PURCELL "Man is for the woman made" from The Mock Marriage
HANDEL "O sleep, why dost thou leave me?" from Semele, HWV 65
TRAD. "Lu passariellu"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.

At a Glance

Opera, as we know it today, grew out of theories about music and drama from classical antiquity as they were understood by a group of intellectuals in Florence at the start of the 17th century. Monteverdi’s Orfeo of 1607, with its mythological subject matter and pastoral atmosphere, had much in common with the courtly entertainments of the previous century. In the hands of Monteverdi and his successors—including Cavalli, Cesti, Purcell, and eventually Handel—opera gradually took on its more modern aspects: plots rich in drama and human interest, a clear distinction between arias and recitatives, and ample opportunities for vocal display.

Yet for all its musical and dramatic sophistication, opera also had deep roots in popular culture. Indeed, the cross-fertilization of the two traditions—which L’Arpeggiata explores in this evening’s program—found an outlet in a wide range of music, from richly expressive love songs and laments to frivolous ditties and folk dances. The venturesome ensemble takes a distinctively free and fresh approach to this appealing repertoire, emphasizing the improvisatory spirit that Baroque music shares with more recent folk idioms as well as jazz.



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) features fado singer Mísia. The ensemble released L'amore innamorato, an album dedicated to the most beautiful opera arias for soprano by Francesco Cavalli, and most recently Orfeo Chamán, a selection of music composed and arranged by Ms. Pluhar.

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

Christina Pluhar, founder and artistic director of the L'Arpeggiata, discovered her deep affinity with Renaissance and Baroque music after studying classical guitar at the University of Graz in Austria.

She devoted herself to the studies of the lute, theorbo, baroque guitar, and baroque harp at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (Netherlands) with Toyohiko Satoh, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) with Hopkinson Smith, and Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano (Italy) with Mara Galassi, followed by master classes with Paul O'Dette, Andrew Lawrence-King, and Jesper Christensen.

In 1992, Ms. Pluhar moved to Paris, where she performed both as a soloist and a continuo player with Ensemble La Fenice (Jean Tubéry), Hespèrion XXI (Jordi Savall), Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Soave (María Cristina Kiehr), Accordone (Marco Beasley), Ensemble Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), Les Musiciens du Louvre (Marc Minkowski), Ricercar Consort (Philippe Pierlot), La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy (Jean-Claude Malgoire), and Cantus Cölln (Konrad Junghänel), among others. As a continuo player, she has performed with orchestras under the direction of René Jacobs, Alessandro De Marchi, and Gabriel Garrido. From 2001 to 2005, she was assistant conductor to Ivor Bolton at the Munich Opera House. As a guest conductor, she was invited to conduct the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (Sydney), European Union Baroque Orchestra, and Orchestra Divino Sospiro (Portugal).

Since 1993, Ms. Pluhar has conducted master classes at the University of Graz; since 1999, she has served as professor of Baroque harp at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.

In 2000, Ms. Pluhar founded L'Arpeggiata. Selecting 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). In 2012, L'Arpeggiata--under Ms. Pluhar's direction--became the first baroque ensemble to be named a Perspectives artist at Carnegie Hall.

Céline Scheen

Céline Scheen completed her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Vera Rózsa. She has since performed in the greatest festivals and concert halls around the world.

On the opera stage, her roles have included Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Atilia in Cavalli's Eliogabalo, Papagena in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Amour and Clarine in Rameau's Platée, and La musica and Euridice in Monteverdi's Orfeo. She was also Venus in John Blow's Venus and Adonis in a new production by the Théâtre de Caen that toured to the Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg, Angers Nantes Opéra, Opéra de Lille, Opéra Comique (Paris), and Maison de la Culture de Grenoble.

In concert, Ms. Scheen has performed works by Bach, Graupner, Monteverdi, Rameau, and Zelenka with Ensemble Pygmalion, and the combined forces of La Cetra Barockorchester Basel and RIAS Kammerchor, among many others.

She has recorded music for the film Le roi danse with Musica Antiqua Köln and Reinhard Goebel, in addition to working with Paolo Pandolfo on a CD on improvisations. Other releases that feature Ms. Scheen include Bach's Orgelbüchlein with Ensemble Mare Nostrum, Virtuosissima compositrice (featuring works by Barbara Strozzi) with Cappella Mediterranea and Leonardo García Alarcón, Amarante with Philippe Pierlot and Eduardo Egüez, Lully's Bellérophon with Les Talens Lyriques and Christophe Rousset, and Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine with the Ricercar Consort and Philippe Pierlot.

Ms. Scheen has performed in new productions of the St. Mathew Passion in Copenhagen with the Danish Radio Orchestra under the direction of Andrea Marcon, and in Dresden and Prague with Collegium 1704 under Václav Luks. During the 2015-2016 season, she appeared with frequent partners Le Banquet Céleste and Damien Guillon in Europe.

Giuseppina Bridelli

Born in Italy, Giuseppina Bridelli started singing at a very young age at the Conservatorio di Musica G. Nicolini in Piacenza, where she was taught by Maria Laura Groppi. In 2007, she won the Aslico competition for young vocalists and made her debut at 21 as Despina in Così fan tutte with conductor Diego Fasolis. Since 2008, she has studied at the Scuola dell'Opera del Teatro Comunale in Bologna.

Ms. Bridelli was a finalist in several international singing competitions, including the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition, Neue Stimmen, and Innsbruck Festival of Early Music's Cesti Competition. In 2012, she won the top prize at the Concorso Internazionale di Canto Barocco Francesco Provenzale in Naples and the second prize at the Concours International de Chant Baroque in France. In May 2013, she won second prizes at the International Vocal Competition Stanisław Moniuszko in Varsavia and the International Voice Competition Renata Tebaldi Competition in San Marino.

Highly appreciated for her early-music performances, Ms. Bridelli collaborates with such Baroque ensembles as Accademia Bizantina, La Venexiana, Cappella Mediterranea, Auser Musici, Ensemble Pygmalion, Stile Galante, and Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu.

She has also performed at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Scarlatti's Messa di Santa Cecilia, and as Amore and Poesia in Cavalli and Stradella's Il Novello Giasone; at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music as Ottavia and Virtù in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea; at the Alessandro Scarlatti Association in Naples as Clori in Gli equivoci nel sembiante; and at the Oper Bremen as Flora in Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario with Accademia Bizantina under the direction of Ottavio Dantone.

In 2016, Ms. Bridelli performed the role of Aristeo in Rossi's Orfeo with Ensemble Pygmalion and conductor Raphaël Pichon, in addition to Minerva and El Tiempo in Durón's La guerra de los gigantes with Cappella Mediterranea at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

Vincenzo Capezzuto

Vincenzo Capezzuto has performed as a principal dancer with Teatro di San Carlo, English National Ballet, Julio Bocca's Ballet Argentino, Michele Merola's MM Contemporary Dance Company, and Aterballetto. He has danced all over the world in productions choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe, and Ohad Naharin, among others. In addition to being honored with many awards, he has also been invited by Vittoria Ottolenghi, Alessandra Ferri, Maximiliano Guerra, and Alberto Testa to perform in prestigious galas.

As a singer, Mr. Capezzuto appers on L'Arpeggiata's  recent recordings: Via Crucis, Los Pájaros Perdidos, Mediterraneo, and Music for a While: Improvisations on Purcell. He has performed at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms in London, and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. In November 2010, he was invited on a European tour as singer and dancer with the European Baroque Orchestra, led by Ms. Pluhar. Mr. Capezzuto also has been featured on Il Pomo d'Oro's recording of charming Venetian Baroque music, directed by Riccardo Minasi. He also performed on the celebrated recording Ti amo anche se non so chi sei alongside prestigious Italian singers Franco Battiato, Lucio Dalla, Massimo Ranieri, and Gianni Morandi. 

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