There is definitely no lack of heroic roles in the Gluckian repertory apart from the very well-known Orfeo from Orfeo ed Euridice: many memorable parts were assigned by this composer for the alto voice (either male castratos or female contraltos) – and it is precisely this repertory, written for excellent interpreters and yet still rarely performed today, which is celebrated on this CD.
As a consequence of a specific historical set of circumstances, Gluck had the good fortune to work with the final alto singers of his generation: not only Gaetano Guadagni, but also Giovanni Carestini, Vittoria Tesi and many others. Until the first part of the 18th century, the contralto register was the one especially favoured for heroic male roles and for those of heroines en travesti. Much of this repertory remains unexplored and of course unrecorded: with this new programme, Glossa tries to help filling a somewhat unexplainable gap.
Sonia Prina, one of the leading altos of her generation, teams up with the fine Milanese laBarocca orchestra, conducted by Ruben Jais, for her first full-scale opera recital on disc: and this after having sung the leading role in Handel’s pasticcio Catone, very recently released on Glossa, and anticipating her mind-blowing performance in Silla, another Handelian opera, with Fabio Biondi – to be presented in Autumn, as well on Glossa.