Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
Farinelli: baroque opera superstar
Farinelli was arguably the biggest name when it came to 18th-century baroque opera. He was castrato with exceptional abilities that attracted a huge following. Due to his fame, composers often wrote music with him in mind, much of which survives.
In 2002, American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux and the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin recorded an now classic Harmonia Mundi CD devoted to arias specifically composed for Farinelli. The composers represented are some of the most famous of the time, including Hasse and Porpora, as well as a few lesser-known such as Farinelli’s brother, Riccardo Broschi.
Jordi Savall and Vivaldi’s Farnace
After the success of Jordi Savall’s recording of Farnace by Antonio Vivaldi, the distinguished director released an Alia Vox CD of favorite arias, drawing from many great pieces. The result is a snapshot of a terrific opera from a fantastic of composer known primarily for his instrumental music.