Handel: Partenope — review

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Handel

Partenope

Il pomo d’oro

(Erato)

Do too many of Handel’s operas seem the same? Do not despair: Partenope, dating from 1730, inhabits a light-hearted world of its own, where mock chivalry, cross-dressing and ridicule bring comic edge to a plot in which three suitors vie for Queen Partenope’s hand.

The music sparkles in this quick-witted and imaginatively embellished performance from Il pomo d’oro, conducted by Riccardo Minasi.

Shorter than usual arias help the opera to trip along with a sprightly gait and the singers, led by Karina Gauvin, Philippe Jaroussky, Teresa Iervolino and John Mark Ainsley, make a skilful team.

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