Woodcut from Act II, Sc 5: copy in library of Christchurch, Oxford
The classic music theatre work of the Italian Renaissance, written the same year as the first opera and based on the characters of the commedia dell’arte – old men, cowards, scheming servants and self-obsessed lovers. The slapstick for the comic characters is perfectly balanced by the ravishing Gesualdo-esque writing for the lovers.
This DVD is the combination of a live performance and specially filmed episodes. It’s narrated by Simon Callow and available at the cost of a CD.
“I Fagiolini turn a silk purse into one beaded in gold. These expert singers are also seasoned actors and yet it is the group dynamic which always wins the day with this unique vocal ensemble. A highly enjoyable production which celebrates the relevance and enjoyment to be found in a 400-year old musical.” Gramophone
A special essay about Commedia dell’arte in music written especially for this website by Roger Savage can be found here
Chandos CHDVD 5029