didonato brings handel\s ariodante to life in paris
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
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DiDonato brings Handel's Ariodante to life in Paris

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today DiDonato brings Handel's Ariodante to life in Paris

PARIS - AFP

Celebrated mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato packed emotion and virtuosity into the title role of Handel's "Ariodante" at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris on Monday. The relatively small theatre provided an intimacy that DiDonato said she "revels in (because) people feel that they're really on the stage with you," riding along on Ariodante's roller-coaster from rapture to despair and back over the apparent betrayal by his intended Ginevra. "We can take more risks, were not obsessed with trying to fill the space," she told AFP backstage. "That's when you really see how Handel's alive. Every time you sing one of his arias, especially the really emotionally charged ones, it's a different experience, because they're so personal." DiDonato's passionate "Scherza Infida" plumbed the depths of despair while contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux as the scheming Polinesso incited revulsion by fairly spitting out "Se l'Inganno Sortisce Felice," vowing to shun virtue if his machinations succeeded. The concert version of "Ariodante" with Il Complesso Barocco conducted by Alan Curtis was the second of three performances that began last week in Baden-Baden, Germany, and were to conclude on Wednesday at London's Barbican. Curtis, a driving force in the revival of baroque opera, says Georg Friedrich Handel excelled at creating credible human characters through his music. "No one else is able, with such economy, to flesh out a character," he said. "Handel did it better than anyone, even Mozart. With Mozart it could be music for the sake of music; with Handel, it was music for the sake of understanding a human being," Curtis told AFP. Donna Leon, the world renowned crime novelist based in Venice, is a Handel aficionado and patron of Il Complesso Barocco, and was on hand for the performance. She said of the 42-year-old DiDonato's masterful renditions of "Scherza Infida" and the euphoric "Dopo Notte": "If a mezzo can sing those beautifully there's nothing you can't do in Handel. It's the brain surgery of baroque singing."

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