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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Vivaldi: Teuzzone

09/16/2012 13:00
09/16/2012 16:30

Host Keith Brown writes:

I continue this Sunday with my own long ongoing series of broadcasts of the operas of Antonio Vivaldi. The violin virtuoso and composer of The Four Seasons concertos was also a prolific composer of opera in the style of the Venetian baroque. More than twenty of his operas survive, a total of 51 attributed to him.

You might call Teuzzone (1718) Vivaldi's Venetian baroque Turandot. Eighteenth century audiences had a taste fro the oriental and the exotic in operatic scenarios. "Turkish" operas were a popular operatic subgenre. The setting of Vivaldi's Teuzzone is China. Prince Teuzzone must contend with court intrigues to regain his place as the Chinese emperor's rightful successor.

The score of this opera is to be found in the treasure trove of Vivaldi manuscripts preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin. Teuzzone finds its perfect interpreter in Jordi Savall, an established authority in the early music field. Savall directs the period instrument players of Le Concert des Nations. The French label Naïve released Teuzzone in 2011 on three compact discs. Of this recording reviewer Alan Simpson writes "All the singers are at their best and they receive first rate support from Jordi Savall, who keeps things moving without leaving a sense of racing through the score" (Fanfare, July/ August, 2012 issue).