Franco Fagioli: Arias for Caffarelli ***
Wigmore Hall, 13th November 2015
“Prima la musica, o prima le parole?” is the question debated in Strauss’ opera about opera, Capriccio. Words definitely took second place to music in Franco Fagioli’s recital of Baroque operatic arias performed by the great Italian castrato Caffarelli. Barely a single consonant reached the back of Wigmore Hall, resulting in a series of extended melismata – brilliantly sung – but dramatically neutered by lack of words. When the lights were inexplicably flicked off after the interval, one couldn’t even rely on programme texts and translations to work out what Fagioli was singing.
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