Franco Fagioli

Franco Fagioli in Handel's opera Tolomeo


  • Georg Friedrich Handel Tolomeo, Re di Egitto

In London, Handel celebrated triumphs with his Italian operas. He composed the title role of Tolomeo for the famous castrato Senesino. This will be enjoyed when star countertenor Franco Fagioli performs this role.

Rivals in love and power
Georg Friedrich Handel owed his English success in part to the exceptional soloists he had at his disposal. He composed Tolomeo for his favorite star cast. The title role, written for an alto cast, was sung by Senesino. Sopranos Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni took the two important female roles. The ladies were notorious, as a year earlier they had run into each other on stage. The story unfolds between two brothers, Tolomeo and Alessandro, who are rivals in love and power.

Franco Fagioli on the trail of Senesino
Tolomeo was premiered in 1728, but Handel continued to tinker with his composition for quite some time. A grander, revised version appeared two years later. The Matinee presents the first performance on ancient instruments (with the original large orchestral scoring) of the 1730 version. The concert will be conducted by conductor Giovanni Antonini, and baroque enthusiasts will naturally look forward to countertenor Franco Fagioli, who will sing the role of Tolomeo and perform, among other things, the beautiful aria "Torna sol....

Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Kammerorchester Basel
Giovanni Antonini
Il Giardino Armonico
Franco Fagioli
Countertenor, Tolomeo
Christophe Dumaux
Countertenor, Alessandro
Giulia Semenzato
Soprano, Seleuce
Riccardo Novaro
Bass-baritone, Araspe
Giuseppina Bridelli
Mezzo-soprano, Elisa

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