Another Vivaldi opera enters the discography, and this one’s a beauty. Based on a story in Boccaccio’s Decameron, with a libretto by Apostolo Zeno revised by. Vivaldi’s genius came to full fruition in his masterpiece Griselda. The story of Patient Griselda, taken from The Decameron, is an uncomfortable one for modern . Griselda was first performed at Venice’s Teatro di San Samuele during spring Apostolo Zeno’s libretto, based on a tale from Boccacio’s Decameron, was .

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In he maintained to have written 94 operas, and to an English visitor he laid claim to 17 printed publications when in reality there were only 12 Vivaldi cheekily inflated the figure by including the sets issued in two volumes.

Her resilience is admirable, yet the grriselda of her suffering reveals a complex ambiguity: Vivaldi’s genius came to full fruition in his masterpiece Griselda. Other characters in the opera are equally driven: Vivaldi favoured younger and less expensive singers on the cusp of international careers, and eschewed the exorbitant fees of superstar castrati.

This is as it ever was, topical.

Category:Griselda (Vivaldi) – Wikimedia Commons

Grimani, the 18th-century equivalent of Cameron Mackintosh, aware that ticket sales in his group of theatres were falling whereas Vivaldi, now in his grisdlda, had enjoyed considerable success at theatres in Verona and Vicenza, finally invited him into the fold. Whether you want to see what we think of today’s latest releases or discover what our critics thought of your favourite recordings from the past, you will find it all in our full-searchable Reviews Database.

Instead of a known soprano castrato, he wrote for Lorenzo Bivaldi, who clearly found the technical demands of the role too challenging as a hastily-written, much more mundane aria was substituted for Ottone. Thanks to Vivaldi and his young stars, the Grimanis and their theatre were back in business. Fortunately, the ending is happy, and Gualtiero’s love for the always loyal Griselda is justified and restored.

These are “Agitata da due venti” from act 2 and “Dopo un’orrida procella” from act 3. Personally, Vivsldi thought the energy was wonderful.


Griselda — Opera Settecento Company

Even so, recent research has linked Vivaldi grkselda composer or impresario to around 67 different productions, with around 50 original settings; such figures make him the most productive opera composer of the period after Alessandro Scarlatti.

Gualtiero, still not satisfied, pledges Griselda to Ottone. The opera’s subject material was appropriate, as it was with Griselda that Vivaldi, formerly considered too “plebeian” to be heard in most of the Venetian theaters, finally bivaldi his foot in the door, thanks to political and artistic changes occurring at that time.

Saviour of Opera Companies. Vivaldi crater Vivaldi Glacier.

Vivaldi Griselda

Ottone surprises them, and when Griselda again refuses his love, he takes the child away hostage. One imagines the stronger musical sense that Alessandrini, Dantone or Sardelli might have brought to Griselda. We also hear very dramatic recitative writing from the composer. She is in love with Corrado’s younger brother, Roberto, and the thought of being forced to marry Gualtiero drives her to despair. Long before the opera begins, Gualtiero, king of Thessaly, married the shepherdess Griselda, who bore him two children including a daughter believed to be dead.

The Return of Ulysses. Costanza, the bride to be, comes to the court with her lover, Roberto, torn between loving him and wanting to be Queen.

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested vivalei an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information. The original cast included castrati, whose roles here are taken by male counter-tenors or women.

She returns her crown to him; he immediately leaves to greet his new vigaldi. Vivaldi did not spare his singers, and indeed, there are some passages which had to be amended because of their difficulty. The young, happening poet, Goldoni was employed to bring the libretto up-to-date. Griselda is further humiliated by being required to direct the wedding preparations.

She rejects his suit.

Cast & Crew

At its core, it concerns the pursuit of professional success, at any personal cost. Vivaldi, in his dual role as composer-impresario, had rather remarkably managed to run up a sizable profit. Such “genre arias,” if you will, were typical of the era.


Usually sung by a woman in the few modern productions there have been, we cast the amazing David Hansen in the soprano role of the villain Ottone.

She displayed excellent clarity of articulation and superb dynamic control. Griselda, now living rough again, cries herself to sleep.

For his debut at the Teatro San Samuele, Vivaldi chose the libretto by Apostelo Zeno about a queen who was bullied for her humble origins. I confess I can’t get enough of this singer, who has one of the most limpid counter-tenor voices around today. Marie-Nicole Lemieux’s passionate performance of the title-role has vivid handling of text and emotive singing.

The opera is fuelled by this tension between professional ambition and personal sacrifice, by behaviour that is both horrific and utterly human. Gualtiero is forced by political unrest and public criticism of his common-born wife Griselda to prove her noble worth by subjecting her to a torrent yriselda cruel tests.

Griselda continues to love Gualtiero, despite his rejection. Part of the issue, I think, is that the characters in Griselda seem to be in passionate overdrive most of the time. The story of Patient Griselda, taken from The Decameron, is an uncomfortable one for modern day sensibilities, with Griselda required to submit to many horrible tests of her character, and strength of love and service to her husband.

By modern standards, this is a ridiculous and cruel story. Despite reservations about the gdiselda instrumental textures, this finely sung recording unveils another inventive opera.

Corrado allows Griselda one last moment to bid her son Everardo farewell.

In many Baroque operas, the recitatives slow the action down, but in Griseldawe hang on every word and every note. At this grisslda, Gualtiero embraces her, having demonstrated her virtue to the rebellious people, and takes her back as his wife.

Gramophone’s expert reviews easier than ever before. Vivaldi prided himself on an unconventional and controversial life.