Equally known for his live performances and musicological work in establishing new performing practices for early opera, Alan Curtis enjoyed a fruitful career. A scholar, as well as a conductor and harpsichordist, Curtis edited several important works with an appreciation for authenticity, effective performance, and – in the case of opera – stage-worthiness. Several of his best recordings were issued in the 1990s and in the new millennium. Curtis studied first at Michigan State University and attained his bachelor's degree there in 1955.
Handel's Giove in Argo (Jupiter in Argos) is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, a pastiche (or, in the parlance of the time, pasticcio) of numbers from earlier operas stitched together into a mythological-pastoral plot that is absurd even by the standards of Baroque opera. It is a notable sign of the success of the Baroque opera revival that this has appeared on a semi-major label, Virgin Classics. The pieces were all from operas that were fairly recent at the time, and it's possible that the work was intended as a kind of greatest-hits reprise, but London audiences did not bite; the opera was long thought to be lost, and it had its modern premiere only in 2006, with newly written recitatives.
Alan Curtis, lauded by Opera as one of our finest conductors of Baroque opera, illumines Handel s masterpiece, Alcina, by casting, as heroine, the brilliant Joyce DiDonato. Since Alcina is historically dared by virtuosic sopranos like Sutherland and Battle, this innovative recording with a mezzo is a must-have not just for Alcina freaks but all who adore sensational vocalism. As Handel did in his time, Curtis arrays our era s finest Baroque singers such as Maite Beaumont and Karina Gauvin in supporting roles around his star. With this electrifying Alcina, first ever studio recording of the rarely heard Ezio and Rolando Villazón s new album, Handel Year 2009 is being exceptionally well feted by Deutsche Grammophon.
A 2012 live recording of Baldassarre Galuppis Il Filosofo di Campagna. Born on an island in the Venice lagoon, Galuppi was an intensely prolific and highly esteemed composer of the Venetian Baroque era. His works included sacred music, sacred and profane cantatas, instrumental works, oratorios and operas, many of which are comic. Among the latter, of particular importance are those born of his collaboration with Carlo Goldoni. The deeply Venetian aspects of Goldoni and Galuppi together created a body of 18th century comic opera of which Il Filosofo di Campagna (The Country Philosopher) is arguably Galuppis best known. With the Ensemble Barocco della Filarmonica del Veneto led by Fabrizio da Ros and a pan-European cast of young singers mount a lively production.
This exciting studio recording is the second project resulting from the collaboration between Marie-Nicole Lemieux Karina Gauvin and conductor and harpsichordist Alan Curtis' award winning Complesso Barocco. Giulio Cesare is one of Handel's most renowned operas and the role of Giulio Cesare is considered to be one of the most beautiful roles in the baroque opera. The full vocal cast is stunning and Alan Curtis shows once again why he is considered one of the world's leading Handel specialists.