Franco Fagioli stars as Aci in Nicola Porpora’s brilliant Il Polifemo on May 4 at Theater an der Wien and then May 6 at the Het Concertgebouw. George Petrou conducts the Armonia Atenea for both concert performances, featuring a starry cast including Max Emanuel Cencic as Ulisse, Sreten Manojlović as Polifemo, Julia Lezhneva as Galathea, Rinnat Moriah as Narea, and Sonja Runje as Calipso.

Porpora was Farinelli’s teacher and rival of Handel and Hasse. One of the most brilliant figures in the musical Baroque, he was an expert in handling the singing voice both as regards training as well as its effective application. At the beginning of 1735 he wrote the opera seria Polifemo for the Opera of the Nobility, which had been set up in the British capital as rival enterprise to Handel’s operatic empire. It was premiered with Farinelli in the role of Aci.

Franco Fagioli recorded an album of Nicola Porpora arias with baroque specialists Academia Montis Regalis, conducted by Alessandro de Marchi. For more information and purchase links, please visit Franco’s Recordings.

Photo credit: Julian Laidig