Handel - Agrippina / Daniels, Kuebler, Hall, von Kannen, Ostman, Schwetzingen Opera Festival
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This production at the Schwetzingen Opera Festival was filmed in 1985, with Arnold Östman conducting the London Baroque Players. The colors are a bit dingy, suggesting that it was filmed for TV, but the sound recording is quite good, better in fact than most opera films of that era. Unfortunately, that high fidelity serves mostly to expose the singers' shortcomings, particularly their rather inconsistent tuning. Barbara Daniels has the largest role, as Agrippina, and she doesn't come close to the vocal virtuosity of Veronique Gens in that other production. Baritone David Kuebler sings the role of Nerone an octave lower than Handel would have expected, since the music was composed for a castrato. Philippe Jaroussky, the premiere male soprano of our times, sings Nerone in the other production, and yes, his is the fright wig even I have to sneer at, but his singing is luscious. Kuebler wears a smirk on his face throughout that evokes the malformed character of Nero quite aptly, but his singing is too blunt an instrument for Handelian arias. Gens and Jaroussky are so much better musically than their counterparts that I'd recommend taking off your glasses or dimming your TV screen to hear them if you simply can't bear their costumes.
Comparing these two productions is quite a clear revelation of how much higher the standard of vocal technique in baroque operas has become over the last 25 years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Handel was german originally, so it is quite normal for Arnold Ostman to conduct Agrippina in the best and heaviest German style of thirty years ago. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
Handel - Agrippina / Daniels, Kuebler, Hall, von Kannen, Ostman, Schwetzingen Opera Festival is a 1985 production staged by Michael Hampe. Read morePublished on October 30, 2011 by Bjorn Viberg
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