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Viva Vivaldi! (2000)

| Music | TV Movie
The spectacular mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli is joined by the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico in a program of baroque music from composer Antonio Vivaldi, "The Red Priest". The concert ... See full summary »




Credited cast:
Cecilia Bartoli ...
Giovanni Antonini ...
Conductor and Flautino Soloist
Enrico Onofri ...
Concert Master and Violin
Mario Bianchi ...
Luca Pianca ...
Maria Grazia d' Alessio ...
Marco Scorticati ...
Alberto Guerra ...
Elena Russo ...
Riccardo Doni ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stefano Barneschi ...
Gianni Maraldi ...
Vanni Moretto ...
Double Bass
Liana Mosca ...
Daniella Nuzzoli ...


The spectacular mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli is joined by the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico in a program of baroque music from composer Antonio Vivaldi, "The Red Priest". The concert encompasses arias and instrumental pieces from the oratorio Juditha Triumphans and the operas L'Olimpiade, Tito Manlio, Ottone in Villa, La fida ninfa, Bajazet (Il Tamerlano) and a chilling, passionate performance from Farnace. The ensemble performs Concerto in C major for Flautino (affectionately known as the Penny Whistle), and Concerto in D major for Lute. The predominant portion of music was unknown and specially transcribed from Vivaldi's original manuscripts by musicologist Claudio Osele. The International Film Crew from RM Associates is directed by veteran opera director Brian Large and produced by classical music producer Colin Wilson. The sell-out musical event was presented at the superb art-deco Théatre des Champs-Eysées, Paris in September 2000. Written by Josef d'Bache-Kane

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Concerto in C major for Flautino
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Giovanni Antonini (soloist) with Il Giardino Armonico
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I coulda been a contender
4 February 2006 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Cecilia Bartoli could fill concert halls all over the world just by singing the her laundry list . She uses this power for worthy ends by researching forgotten operas and composers and presenting them to a wider audience. Antonio Vivaldi is hardly a forgotten composer but his operatic output is certainly overlooked. Bartoli makes a powerful case for these works. Each aria is treated as a mini-dramatic performance and Bartoli is a Brando-like method actor, she becomes the character. She exhibits jaw-jutting defiance after a display of machine-gun coloratura in "Siam navi…".* She looks as though the blood is draining from her body when she sings "Gelido in …". Then we get her radiant smile during "Zeffiretti …". The French audience at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées go wild. It is clear that the one factor above all others that has made her a star in opera houses and concert halls is her tremendous rapport with her audiences.

Also evident is her rapport with her musicians, Il Giardino Armonico, both as an ensemble and during the obligato passages for oboe, violin and flautino. The flautino is what you and I played at primary school when it was called a recorder, or, to be more precise, we played descant recorders. The flautino is an even tinier sopranino recorder pitched a fourth higher. While Cecila takes a breather, there is a concerto for two flautini in this concert with the conductor and flautino soloist Giovanni Antonini favouring a little plastic number.

The director of this film is the venerable Brian Large, doyen of opera directors. I am sure he did some judicious editing but there is still 15 minutes of applause in this 106 minute film. The audience will not let Bartoli go and she for her part seems reluctant to leave, performing encore after encore, beaming at the audience and beating her breast to indicate her emotion. Such is her crusading zeal to bring this sort of music to the masses she is coming to Birmingham in a couple of months' time. I have my ticket.

* Sorry IMDb will not allow me to give the full Italian titles

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