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Classical Opera continue their continuing complete Mozart opera recording series with the one-act dramatic serenade Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126. Composed in 1771 as a celebratory homage to Prince Archbishop Sigismund Schrattenbach of Salzburg, the Archbishop died before the piece could be performed. In the spring of 1772 Mozart amended the work so that it could be used in honour of Schrattenbach’s successor, Hieronymus Colloredo – the only necessary change was to alter the name of the dedicatee in the nal recitative. The story of Scipio’s Dream takes place in c.148 BC, while the celebrated Roman general is a guest in the palace of his ally Massinissa, King of Numidia (in modern day Tunisia). As Scipio falls into a deep sleep, he dreams that the allegorical figures of Fortuna (Fortune) and Costanza (Constancy) appear to him in Elysium and demand that he should choose one of them to follow for the rest of his days.
Classical Opera continue their series of Mozart Operas on Signum with Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87 (74a). As well as the complete opera, this 4CD digipak release includes a bonus disc featuring the original versions of a number of arias from the opera that Mozart subsequently changed in the final version.
MITRIDATE King of Pontus BARRY BANKS tenor
ASPASIA betrothed to Mitridate MIAH PERSSON soprano
SIFARE Mitridate’s younger son SOPHIE BEVAN soprano
FARNACE Mitridate’s elder son LAWRENCE ZAZZO countertenor
ISMENE daughter of the King of Parthia KLARA EK soprano
MARZIO a Roman tribune ROBERT MURRAY tenor
ARBATE governor of Nymphaea ANNA DEVIN soprano
The first release in a new partnership between Classical Opera and Signum Records begins with Mozart’s remarkable sacred singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, composed when he was just eleven. The music is full of tender beauty, dynamism and descriptive flair, and the young composer’s innate sense of understanding and sympathy for the human condition already shines through.
The story follows the efforts of The Spirit of Christianity (Andrew Kennedy) – aided by Divine Justice (Cora Burggraaf ) and Divine Mercy (Sarah Fox) – to win back the heart of a Lapsed Christian (Allan Clayton) as he lies fast asleep. In opposition to this however stands The Spirit of Worldliness (Sophie Bevan), who urges the Christian to forget what The Spirit shows him and to follow her pleasure-seeking philosophies. As Justice and Mercy withdraw to observe, The Spirit of Christianity seeks to win back the lapsed Christian, but will this lost soul be able to resist the temptations of indulgence and short-term satisfaction that Worldliness offers?
The second disc in this 2CD Set is an Enhanced CD, with an exclusive 10-minute feature on the making of the recording additional libretto and programme note translations. Full German to English translations included in the booklet.
Continuing the company’s critically acclaimed complete cycle of Mozart operas on Signum Classics is the release of Zaide. One of very few of Mozart’s works to be written without a commission, Mozart completed fifteen numbers before abandoning the work to fulfil the commission for Idomeneo. These include two searing melodramas, some superb ensembles and a sequence of arias including the celebrated “Ruhe sanft”.
Zaide Sophie Bevan (soprano)
Gomatz Allan Clayton (tenor)
Soliman Stuart Jackson (tenor)
Allazim Jacques Imbrailo (baritone)
Osmin Darren Jeffery (bass-baritone)
Vorsanger Jonathan McGovern (baritone)
A programme of concert arias by Mozart, Haydn and BeethovenLeading British soprano Sophie Bevan performs a sumptuous programme of concert arias by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Bevan is accompanied on this new recording by The Mozartists, recently launched by Ian Page’s internationally renowned period ensemble Classical Opera as an expansion of its continuing exploration of Mozart and his contemporaries. Complementing Classical Opera’s ongoing recording series of the complete operas of Mozart, the creation of The Mozartists reflects the group’s expanding repertoire and ambitious plans, and they can be heard in concert from September 2017.
Featuring Rebecca Bottone, Cora Burggraaf, Allan Clayton, Klara Ek, Martene Grimson, Jennifer Johnston, Susan Gritton, Anna Leese, Matthew Rose, Andrew Staples & Mark Stone
Signum are proud to reissue Classical Opera’s debut CD, ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’, selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice in 2007. Based on the coincidence that Mozart’s first opera (Apollo et Hyacinthus) begins with ‘A’ and his last (Die Zauberflo?te) with ‘Z’, this disc takes the listener on a chronological journey through Mozart’s operatic canon, featuring an aria or ensemble from fifteen of his operas.
“My personal pick for giving this year is the Classical Opera Company’s glorious The A-Z of Mozart Opera, which is fresh, diverse, insightful and illuminating (everything that such recital anthologies usually fail to be). ... “... uniformly superb interpretations... an auspicious de?but recording of intelligence, finesse and quality.” Gramophone
Classical Opera explore a wealth of arias by Handel and his contemporaries William Boyce, John Christopher Smith and Thomas Arne, all of which were composed for the celebrated 18th-century tenor John Beard (1716-1791). For this recording Allan Clayton steps ably into this role, performing alongside the Orchestra of Classical Opera under Ian Page. The disc also features a duet with Mary Bevan, from Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.