Avanti L’Opera: An A-Z of Italian Baroque Overture


Early-music pioneers Charivari Agreable perform an engaging collection of overtures from the Italian Baroque Opera, best described by Kah- Ming Ng as being “lucidly crafted for the purpose of turning heads”.

In a decadent era when the antics of theatre-goers was often as intriguing as the performances taking place on stage, these works were composed with the express intention of thrilling, beguiling and engaging an often hard-to-impress audience.


What people are saying

"this disc is full of insight and revelation, and to be highly recommended." Early Music Review, December 2014

"An inspired piece of programming … a sense of sheer delight that brings these enticing scores resplendently to life." International Record Review, March 2015

" [The disc] is very enjoyable and the music is brilliantly played. Charivari Agr̩able, well known for its unconventional programming, has added another gem to its already impressive discography." Music Web International, August 2015

Charivari Agréable 

Release date:10th Nov 2014
Order code:SIGCD383
Barcode: 635212038321

An inspired piece of programming collects together 17 Italian Baroque opera overtures ranging from Albinoni to Ziani (in between come the likes of Ariosti, Leo, Bononcini, Caldara, Ollarolo, Alessandro Scarlatti, Bernabel, Pasquini, Legrenzi, Steffani and Conti). They are played by Charivari Agréable, directed from the harpsichord by Kah Ming Ng, with a disarming naturalness and elegance that exchanges the theatrical near-hysteria of ‘special effects’ indulged in by some period ensembles for a sense of sheer delight that brings these enticing scores resplendently to life. 

International Record Review, Julian Haylock

This is a thoroughly enjoyable disc, with no fewer than 17 opera overtures by 13 composers (there are three by Giovanni Bonocini, and two each by Alessandro Scarlatti and Pollarolo). They range from the "patchwork" overture to Totila by Legrenzi to the basically melody and bass with padding Catone in Utica by Leo. In between there are real jewels from Ariosti (the overture from Vespasiano…) and, I have to say, Giovanni Bonocini. Steffani’s Acheloo, which I actually publish, sounds very Purcellian. All in all, this disc is full of insight and revelation, and to be highlly recommended.

Early Music Review

  1. Vespasiano – Attilio Ariosti – 5.44
  2. Cantone in Utica – Leonardo Leo – 2.40
  3. Cefalo – Giovanni Bononcini – 2.26
  4. L’Olimpiade – Antonio Caldara – 4.48
  5. La Proserpine – Carlo Francesco Pollarolo – 4.15
  6. La Statira – Alessandro Scarlatti – 3.23
  7. Turno Aricino – Giovanni Bononcini – 3.45
  8. Il trionfo di Camilla – Giovanni Bononcini – 4.54
  9. L’Ascanio – Giuseppe Antonio Bernabei – 2.57
  10. L’Idalma – Bernardo Pasquini – 3.05
  11. Zenobia – Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni – 4.03
  12. Il Talamo – Pietro Andrea Ziani – 3.51
  13. G’inganni felici – Carlo Francesco Pollarolo – 2.30
  14. Totila – Giovanni Legrenzi – 1.53
  15. La lotta d’Alcide – Agostino Steffani – 2.31
  16. La caduta di Decemviri – Alessandro Scarlatti – 4.09
  17. Il trionfo della fama – Francesco Bartolomeo Conti – 6.20