Saturday, October 10, 2009

HAYDN : ORLANDO PALADINO

Radio New Zealand Concert network
Sunday 11th of October 2009 at 3 - 6 pm


COMPOSER
ORLANDO
SYNOPSIS
PREVIEW
RECORDS
RECORDS
SAMPLE
EXCERPTS

HAYDN: Orlando Paladino, an opera in three acts
Angelica ............. Henriette Bonde-Hansen
Rodomonte .................. Pietro Spagnoli
Orlando ....................... Marcel Reijans
Medoro ....................... Kenneth Tarver
Licone .......................... Peter Gijsbertsen
Eurilla ........................... Laura Cherici
Pasquale ...................... Nikolay Borchev
Alcina .......................... Elena Monti
Caronte ........................ Martijn Cornet
Netherlands Radio Chamber Phil/Alessandro De Marchi
(recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam)

An opera by Haydn? That's Joseph 'Papa' Haydn? Not his brother Michael? We know Josef's two great oratorios (Creation and Seasons), but why do we never see or hear his operas, considering he wrote as many as Mozart, and Wagner?

In a period long past, Antal Dorati strove to bring all the symphonies and operas into our hearing through the medium of vinyl discs (now available on compact discs). I own all the symphonies and a few of the operas, but not this one. There are two reviews of the available records of The Paladin Orlando (go to RECORDS above).

The heading ORLANDO will take you to an opera by Vivaldi, about the same character, also known as furious (or crazy) Orlando. Who was he? None other than the celebrated Roland, the most illustrious paladin (palace knight) of Charlemagne (742-814), and the hero of The Song of Roland; his horn-blast warned the King that the Saracens were crossing the Pyrenees mountains, but he died there in 778. He is the subject of Ariosto's epic poem (1533) Orlando Furioso (his fury and madness arises from his jealousy over Medoro and Angelica [Queen of Cathay!] as in this opera), and the poem includes the unsuccessful siege of Paris by Agramant the Moor. You should know that if they had conquered Europe we would all be speaking Arabic now.

The story is told under SYNOPSIS and PREVIEW (which refers to this very performance in the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam).

SAMPLE gives an audio extract from the Dorati record, and EXCERPT leads to a Berlin Philharmonic concert performance, including Jonathan Lemalu as King Rodomonte of Barbary.

Folks, this is a comedy, with a mad scene for a man, for a change. Alcina the sorceress (also beloved of Handel) makes an appearance.

Haydn had a love life, by the way, with a singer (Luigia), and a lady of London (Rebecca).

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