6-15 July 2006. Alan Curtis conducts the Baroque Ensemble in the first performance since 1723 of Ercole sul Termodonte. At the news conference to present the festivals programme, Curtis said he has been working on this opera for over 10 years and admitted that having discovered that some of the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartolis favourite arias were from this opera, he set out to find them all. With Zachary Stains, Marina Bartoli, Laura Cherici, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Luca Dordolo, Randall Scotting and Filippo Mineccia.
Once again the Spoleto Festival has reduced its operatic production this year and is focusing only on rare operas not in the usual repertoire. Ercole sul Termodonte by Antonio Vivaldi (6-15 July), composed in 1723 for the Teatro Capranica in Rome, will be performed by the Complesso Barocco conducted by Alan Curtis. It is one of Vivaldis many operas (there are more than 70), which at one time were considered conventional and written purely for profit, but which are now being re-evaluated. There is also a concert with music by Gian Carlo Menotti (2 July): songs from the 1960s and 1980s and arias taken from the operas Il Console, La Santa di Bleeker Street and Amelia al ballo. The protagonist is soprano Christine Brewer, who has already won praise as a wonderful interpreter of Strauss and Britten at the Parco della Musica in Rome. Paolo Di Nicola