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Pergolesi set this opera to Metastasio’s libretto for its premiere in 1735 – this production is from Jesi in 2011. The director, Italo Nunziata, has a clear and direct approach which serves the piece well: it is set on a cross-shaped catwalk in the middle of the auditorium. Thus the audience surrounds the performing space, the action is immediate. The main story, set during the Olympics and based on Herodotus, takes place off- stage; the protagonists present their emotions directly to the audience in a series of elaborate arias. The music is accomplished, as is the playing of it by the Academia Montis Regalis, which is superb in its rendition under Alessandro De Marchi. The singers are equally exciting, including Lyubov Petrova, Sofia Soloviy and Milena Storti battling it out with aplomb. Perhaps it’s unfair to single out one person, but Jennifer Rivera’s compact tone and outstanding technique are very exciting indeed. And good to see veteran Raúl Giménez give a lesson in longevity of technique.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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