CULTURE

I Solisti Veneti to delight fans of baroque

The second of two particularly interesting concerts will take place at the Athens Concert Hall tonight, where the famed ensemble I Solisti Veneti will perform under the baton of Claudio Scimone and joined by Greek mezzo-soprano Marita Paparizou. It is not only the prominent performers who are of interest but also the concert program, which focuses on the baroque period and includes excerpts from arias, concertos and religious music of that time. There are works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, George Handel, Ferdinando Bertoni, Antonino Pasculli, Giuseppe Tartini, Domenico Dragonetti but also Gioachino Rossini and Nicolo Paganini. «The maestro has, in a way, split one big concert in two. The first one [yesterday’s] is like a recital, because its main component is arias, some of which are performed in Greece for the first time,» said Paparizou. Paparizou, who is very experienced especially in baroque opera, pointed out that the arias she is interpreting at the Athens Concert Hall are technically very challenging. «On the other hand, baroque is ideal for new opera singers, because it provides a secure vocal preparation enabling them to move on to other things, to a different repertoire, which, quite frequently, if you don’t have the necessary experience can lead to serious vocal injuries. Baroque – a repertoire I love dearly – quietly prepares the voice. In general, today’s market is very tough and we are often asked to do things which we would be better off turning down now and then.» «Maestro Scimone is one of the musicians who have a special relationship with Vivaldi. He has literally dug out, studied and presented many of the composer’s unknown works. His library contains Vivaldi compositions that have never been presented. One of his discoveries is the ‘Orlando Furioso’ opera,» she added. Paparizou herself is very fond of an aria from Vivaldi’s opera «Farnace,» which she sang yesterday in a Greek first. «It is so magical that I wish the lights could go out and leave me standing there,» she said. Tonight the audience will enjoy the breathtaking «Stabat Mater,» also by Vivaldi. «It is a divine work which, I think, has not been performed in Greece,» Paparizou, who will be interpreting it, said.