Sonia Prina at Wigmore Hall (30 December, 2013)

Handel recital

Since my boss, in his infinite wisdom, decided to reschedule my missing shift in January, I had the opportunity to end 2013 on a fun note:

Sonia Prina & Ensemble Claudiana (led by lutist Luca Pianca) | Wigmore Hall

  • Overture (Theodora) aintbaroque
  • Ombra cara di mia sposa (Radamisto)
  • Furibondo spira il vento (Partenope)
  • Larghetto (Theodora)
  • Courante (Theodora)
  • Stelle se tu il consenti (Orlando)
  • Ah, stigie larve (Orlando)
  • Pompe vane… dove sei (Rodelinda)
  • Empio, dirò, tu sei (Giulio Cesare)
  • Passacaglia instead of Trio Sonata in F Op. 5 No. 6 HWV401
  • Cara sposa (Rinaldo)
  • Vivi, tirano (Rodelinda)


  • Venti, turbini! (Rinaldo)
  • I forgot what!
  • Empio, dirò, tu sei (Giulio Cesare)

My favourite moments were Furibondo spira il vento, which I did not know, since I am ignorant of Partenope, but the situation will be remedied asap, after being introduced to this rocking number; Empio, dirò, tu sei, of course, one of my favourite arias from Giulio CesareVivi, tirano, which bountifully rips Il trionfo... and Venti, turbini, in which they did a very nice duet cello-voice and which she sang with the proper attitude – in other words, all the energetic arias.

Prina also impressed me with her dramatic talents in Ah, stigie larve… vagghe pupille, a mofo of an arioso. It is true that she’s shorter of breath than other singers (Hallenberg or Podles, for instance) and her voice has less colours. However, what is there – the secure and nicely rounded low notes and the very distinctive tone of her voice, not to speak of her infectious energy – is admirable. I’ve always liked the basic sound of her voice and the chutzpah with which she sings whilst still keeping it idiomatic.

Briefly put, her voice sounds to me like whatever character she’s singing could kick some serious ass, which is perhaps my favourite attitude. As one of my seat neighbours said, “she should sing for young people”, of which there were some tonight, although it seems like Baroque audiences are even older than, say, belcanto ones. Beyond the youthful energy – the woman moves a lot, but that is always a plus with me – she did some nice things with fff/ppp dynamics. Ensemble Claudiana sounded well, not particularly original, but nothing to complain about either. All in all, a very enjoyable experience.

This was my first time at Wigmore Hall and I was amused that the announcement regarding mobile phones & other electronics also included a plea for the public to suppress cough if possible. As I have a bit of a head cold I was glad I made it through without embarrassing myself and disturbing others.

featured picture lifted from operaselfies

About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on December 30, 2013, in baroque, fachs of the world, frequented opera venues, live performances, mezzos & contraltos, wigmore hall and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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