STRADELLA // Santa Pelagia (The Stradella Project, vol. 4) // Ensemble Mare Nostrum

ALESSANDRO STRADELLA
Santa Pelagia (The Stradella Project, vol. 4)
Ensemble Mare Nostrum, Andrea de Carlo (dir.)
Roberta Mameli (Santa Pelagia, soprano), Raffaele Pe (Religione, contratenor), Luca Cervoni (Nonno, tenor), Sergio Foresti (Mondo, basse)

With this fourth instalment of the Stradella Project, Andrea De Carlo and Ensemble Mare Nostrum continue their exploration of the oratorio output, following the recent rediscoveries of San Giovanni Crisostomo and Santa Editta.
A pretty dancing-girl at the imperial court of Antioch in Syria, Pelagia, is the object of rivalry between an evil angel, Mondo (the World), urging her to enjoy life to the full before old age destroys her beauty, and Bishop Nonno of Edessa, who with the help of a good angel, Religione, invites her to a life in the service of God. Pelagia succumbs to the flattery offered by Mondo, but just as the latter is celebrating his victory, she retires unexpectedly to a lonely cave in the wilderness where she can dedicate the rest of her life to the loving service of God. Stradella cannot resist revealing his point of view about this sudden change, giving the oratorio a surprise ending.
Soprano Roberta Mameli offers us a complex and seductive portrayal of the title role, surrounded by a distinguished cast including Sergio Foresti as Mondo, Raffaele Pe as Religione and Luca Cervoni as Nonno.
As in previous instalments, the recording was made within the framework of the Alessandro Stradella International Festival in Nepi, the composer’s birthplace.

A. Stradella: “Santa Editta” by Mare Nostrum and Andrea De Carlo – Official Album Trailer

ALESSANDRO STRADELLA
SANTA EDITTA: VERGINE E MONACA, REGINA D’INGHILERRA
Ensemble Mare Nostrum, Andrea De Carlo

With this third installment of the Stradella Project, Andrea De Carlo and Ensemble Mare Nostrum continue the exploration of the oratorio output, following the recent rediscovery of San Giovanni Crisostomo.

An historical figure from the 10th century, Edith of Wilton was an English nun of noble birth, and legend has it that she refused the opportunity of taking the throne, causing the aversion of a faction of nobles.

The title role of Stradella’s oratorio, Edith is disputed between various allegorical characters: on the one hand Humiltà, pushing her to a chaste monastic life, on the other hand the mundane figures of Grandezza, Bellezza, Nobiltà and Senso, all inviting her to become Queen and enjoy the pleasures of life. In the end, Edith will ignore the strong arguments submitted by the latter in favour of the advice from an arrogant Humiltà, a sort of alter ego of the Queen who was not to be.

The Argentine soprano Verónica Cangemi offers us an emotional portrayal of the title role, surrounded by a distinguished cast, including Francesca Aspromonte as Nobility, Gabriella Martellacci as Greatness, Fernando Guimaraes as Beauty, Sergio Foresti as Sensuality, and Claudia Di Carlo as Humility.

As in previous installments, recording was made within the framework of the Alessandro Stradella International Festival in Nepi, the composer’s birthplace.

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