IL GIARDINO ARMONICO
GIOVANNI ANTONINI, artistic director
ANNA PROHASKA, soprano
In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Zagreb.
Serpent & Fire
H. Purcell, Ch. Graupner, A. Sartorio, M. Locke, D. Castrovillari, G. F. Händel, J. A. Hasse, D. Castello, F. Cavalli, L. Rossi
Dido and Cleopatra! Two magnificent rulers! The former a queen of Carthage, the latter the last queen of Egypt! Two heroines, who have inspired authors throughout the whole art history with their beauty, femininity, cruelty and tragic fate. The music world turned to them especially in the first century of operatic creation – from around 1640 to 1740 – when Baroque composers paid special attention to them: Francesco Cavalli (Didone), Georg Friedrich Händel (Giulio Cesare in Egitto – Julius Caesar in Egypt), Henry Purcell (Dido and Aeneas) and Johann Adolf Hase (Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra), but also those less famous ones, who are still waiting for well-deserved recognition, such as Antonio Sartorio (Julius Caesar in Egypt), Christoph Graupner (Dido, Queen of Carthage) Daniele Castrovillari (La Cleopatra).
Their artistic infatuation with Dido and Cleopatra resulted in a number of virtuosic and tragic arias, which were united in an inspired collage by excellent soprano Anna Prohaska and one of the most famous early music ensembles, Il Giardino Armonico, under conductor and their artistic director Giovanni Antonini. Titled Serpent & Fire it was recorded on a CD released by Alpha Classics in 2016. Anna Prohaska is an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, a versatile artist who performs a varied repertoire, from Monteverdi to contemporary works. She has made successful appearances in numerous eminent opera and concert venues (La Scala, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Dutch National Opera House in Amsterdam, Concertgebouw and Elbphilharmonie, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, as well as on almost all Austrian and German stages). She has collaborated with the world's leading orchestras under the world’s most eminent conductors (Daniel Barenboim, Philippe Jordan, Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Franz Welser-Möst, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons...).
In the field of early music, she has performed with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus ensemble, as well as with the Academy of Ancient Music, Freiburger Barockorchester and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. The Zagreb audience will have an opportunity to see Anna’s commitment, fervour and vigour on stage, as well as her inspired performance with Antonini and the unparalleled Il Giardino Armonico period music ensemble, while listening live to Serpent & Fire, for which the artists have received the 2017 ICMA – International Classical Music Award.