3 March 2022, 19:30
Studio Byron Knutson
Serenata à Quattro Voci /
Fede, Valore, Gloria, Fama /
Carlo Francesco Pollarolo
Rachel Fenlon, Georgia Tryfona (Soprano) Michael Taylor (Alto) Will Kwiatkowski (Bass)
Jack Adler-McKean (Musical Director)
Baroque Ensemble Le Maschere Galanti
2G Plus, mandatory mask
Entrance €15, only with reservation at email@example.com
NAPOLI - VENEZIA
On 3 March 2022 at 19:30 in the elegant setting of Studio Byron Knutson in Steglitz, Le Maschere Galanti gave the public premiere of two rediscovered baroque serenatas from the collection of the Sing-Akadamie zu Berlin.
Serenata à Quattro Voci by Neapolitan composer Nicola Porpora is a satirical discussion held by the chaste inhabitants of Arcadia. The shepherds Titiro (alto) and Melibeo (bass), after a long journey in distant lands, return home to their lovers, the nymphs Dorina (soprano) and Eurilla (soprano). The men describe how during their travels at sea, they arrived at a magnificent city where the richly dressed inhabitants indulge freely in amorous affairs. The nymphs are at first shocked but the more the men tell of the freedom the women enjoy in conducting their affairs, the more Dorina and Eurilla confess their admiration for such a society. References in the libretto to the shoreline and the heat of the summer months suggest that this was composed for performance at a coastal retreat, probably outside Naples.
Fede, Gloria, Valore, Fama by Carlo Francesco Pollarolo was performed in the garden of the residence of the Hapsburg Ambassador in Venice, Count Colloredo, on the 27 August 1716, to celebrate Hapsburg victories over the Ottoman army in Serbia/Hungary. It takes the form of an allegorical contest between Valour and Glory, judged by Faith. After Fame announces the Hapsburg victory over the Ottomans, Faith concludes that both Valour and Glory are equal in her affections. The most famous singers of the day were engaged for the performance, including Faustina Bordoni, the famous mezzo-soprano and future wife of composer Johann Adolph Hasse. The serenata was believed to have been lost until Le Maschere Galanti identified a cantata in the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin as this work.
Nicola Porpora (1686-1786) was one of the most influential composers of the late baroque period and was a key composers in the development of the Galant style. He was also a famous singing teacher, among whose pupils was the castrato superstar Carlo Broschi, better known as Farinelli.
Carlo Francesco Pollarolo (c. 1653-1723), though little known today, was perhaps the most important composer active in Venice in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.
Le Maschere Galanti is grateful to the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin for their permission to perform these works and delighted to have been asked to share a video contribution (forthcoming) to mark the 20th Anniversary of the return of the Archive of the Sing-Akademie from Kyiv to Berlin. Our thanks also to Tim Willis for the preparation of the scores.