The Classical Opera Company

Blessed Spirit: A Gluck Retrospective

  • Total Time: 80 minutes
  • Cat. Number: WHLIVE0037

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  • Classical Opera
  • Sophie Bevan soprano
  • Ailish Tynan soprano
  • Anna Stephany mezzo-soprano
  • Ian Page director

Arias, Duets and Recitative from Gluck Operas

With a concert of arias and duets entitled Blessed Spirit, Ian Page and his Classical Opera Company gave Wigmore Hall a taste of Gluck exotica.

The Classical Opera Company and founder Ian Page have been presenting the work of Mozart and his contemporaries since 1997. Page describes this recording as

“an overview of Gluck’s work, featuring music from twelve of his operas and demonstrating his dramatic flair and the visceral energy and haunting beauty of his music. I hope that it might stimulate further interest and enthusiasm for this important composer.”

Page, conducting the orchestra of the Classical Opera Company, is joined by three prominent singers, sopranos Ailish Tynan and Sophie Bevan and mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany.

The audience’s rapturous response at the end of the chronologically arranged programme prompted all three voices to join in an encore: ‘Ah, lo veggo’ from Paride ed Elena, with Paris cajoling Helen to the commentary of scheming Cupid.

The programme starts with one of Gluck’s earliest operas, La Semiramide riconosciuta, premiered in Vienna in 1748. By that stage Gluck was a much-travelled and high-profile figure, and the work was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of Empress Maria Teresa. Four years later La clemenza di Tito was staged in Naples with the celebrated castrato Caffarelli in the role of Sesto - he caused a sensation with his performance of the aria ‘Se mai sento spirarti sul volto’, notable for its adventurous harmonies and orchestration.

Track Listing

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

La Semiramide riconosciuta
La clemenza di Tito
Telemacco, nell'isola di Circè
Il re pastore
L'ivrogne corrigé
Orfeo ed Euridice
Paride ed Elena
Iphigénie en Aulide
  • 21. Announcement

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Christoph Willibald Gluck

Paride ed Elena

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