BY ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1643-1682)

SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA

SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA
THE EXCEPTIONAL POWER OF ANCIENT MUSIC

The fascinating work San Giovanni Battista by Alessandro Stradella will open the Easter edition of the Festival Perelada. Stradella left his mark on the history of music even though he led a dissolute life and was brutally stabbed in Genoa at the young age of 38. Lyrical forms blossomed in his works in a flamboyant, dynamic way thanks to the development of new instrumental genres, in particular the concerto grosso, which became a regular feature of his works. He is poised at the intersection of different pathways and stylistic periods, at the crossroads between opera and religious drama, showing his vivaciousness, expressiveness and profound humanity. His entire oeuvre, but especially San Giovanni Battista, signals encounter between the great Roman oratory bequeathed by Carissimi and Cavalli's Venetian opera, without forgetting the fact that Stradella was very close to the next generation of musicians like Scarlatti and Händel. Even though the work was hugely successful when it premiered at Rome's San Giovanni dei Fiorentini church in 1675, its score, which had been lying dormant in libraries, was only revived in 1949. That happened in Perusa, where the role of Salome was performed by Maria Callas. The work, a biblical story yet with a clearly secular backdrop, draws from certain images from the traditional iconography of Saint John the Baptist and Salome and focuses on four biblical figures and a councillor, Herod. This utterly charming masterpiece is being presented for the first time at the Festival Peralada by the successful duo of Dani Espasa and Xavier Sabata. It is a new production which features the solid music of Vespres d’Arnadí and the voices of Giulia Semenzato, Elena Copons, Luigi de Donato and Juan Sancho.
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Carmen Church
Programme

OPENING CONCERT

SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA

BY ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1643-1682)

One-act oratorio for five voices

Libretto by Ansaldo Ansaldi (1651-1719)

Premiered at San Giovanni church, Rome, in 1675

Artistic details

Giulia SEMENZATO, Erodiade la figlia

Luigi DE DONATO, Erode

Xavier SABATA, San Giovanni Battista

Juan SANCHO, Consigliero

Elena COPONS, Erodiade la Madre

 

VESPRES D’ARNADÍ

Dani ESPASA, musical direction

FESTIVAL PERALADA NEW PRODUCTION PREMIERE