We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Jakub Jozef Orlinski, Amaya Arberas and Il Giardino d'Amore

Yesterday we were transported to 17th and 18th c. Venice when we trekked out to the farthest reaches of Brooklyn to hear our favorite Spanish soprano singing arias of Händel and Vivaldi.  Our pleasure was magnified by also hearing some exciting arias performed by countertenor Jakub Jozef Orlinski and by the marvelous accompaniment provided by a stellar baroque chamber orchestra playing on original instruments or copies thereof.  The founder and leader of Il Giardino d'Amore is one Stefan Plewniak who speaks eloquently through his violin.

The always fascinating theorbo was played by Etienne Galletier while the other string instruments were played by Monika Boroni, Katarzyna Kalinowska, Kinga Augustyn, Magdalena Chmielowiec, and Katarzyna Cichon. The group opened the concert with Vivaldi's Autumn and closed with Vivaldi's Summer, perhaps not a normal progression of seasons but beautifully played.

In between we thrilled to some very fine baroque singing in which both singers distinguished themselves with perfectly precise handling of the fioritura. Our favorite piece by Ms. Arberas was the well known aria "Lascia ch'io pianga" from Händel's Rinaldo, made even more famous from it's use in the film Farinelli. It's a real tear-jerker and Ms. Arberas brought out every subtle nuance. 

We also enjoyed "Ombre vane ingiusti orrori" from Vivaldi's Griselda in which the eponymous Griselda bewails her fate. We remember this opera well from Santa Fe when Meredith Arwady sang the role of the unjustly rejected Griselda.

Händel's "Agitato da fiere tempeste" from Riccardo Primo Re d'Inghilterra was given a fine performance by Mr. Orlinski and the orchestra created a fine storm of wind and water. We particularly enjoyed his interpretation of Handel's "A dispetto d'un volto ingrato" from Tamerlano which called for a variety of dynamics and tempi.

This superb group of young musicians is based in Vienna but is presently on tour and how fortunate for us New Yorkers that they made Brooklyn one of their stops.

(c) meche kroop

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