Baldassarre Galuppi wrote masterful musical comedies full of grace, striking a fine balance between comic and serious characters and situations. His popularity took him from his native Burano to Florence and Venice, and further afield to Vienna, St. Petersburg and London, where he composed for the King’s Theatre in Haymarket, becoming one of the city’s favourite Italian composers. Though some of his comic operas are performed today, Galuppi’s opere serie are virtually unknown. Catherine King, together with the Italian musicians of Il Canto di Orfeo, rights this wrong with the only known collection of arias paying tribute to the composer in his anniversary year. Galuppi’s opere serie combine powerfully moving melodies with vocal fireworks in virtuoso arias. This recording is an absorbing traversal of his music drawn from manuscript sources. As in an opera, listeners will experience the contrasting emotions of an ideal plot, moving from contented love, happiness and fulfilment, through heroic ambitions, to anger and tempestuous passion.
Catherine King is a versatile and internationally renowned musician whose repertoire spans nine centuries. She is well known in early music circles for her performances with Gothic Voices, Fretwork, lutenist Jacob Heringman and others. Milan-based Gianluca Capuano, who directs Il canto di Orfeo, has collaborated with major artists in concert and on record, and has performed throughout Europe, the United States, Russia and Japan. Together King and Capuano have worked in Milan, Arezzo and Rome, notably for the 400th anniversary celebrations of the great baroque composer Giacomo Carissimi in 2004.