18th century London was probably the place to be for artists and performers looking for a wealthy patron. Thanks to its navy and a crescent colonial and industrial influence, England was becoming a leading power in European and global politics. The rising wealth of the British middle class created a vast market for leisure, such as theater plays, novels and most of all music entertainment.
Many Italians of the time, such as the composers Giovanni Bononcini, Nicola Porpora and Attilio Ariosti, were seeking fortune and fame in the sparkling Northern European metropolis, a fate still shared nowadays by many expats of the Bel Paese.
One of the missing links in the stylistical evolution of the 16th century is the so-called arioso madrigal. The name itself presents a paradox: how can a madrigal, that is a representation in music of secular poetry in polyphonic style, bear traits of an aria, associated with solistic singing?
In our concert program Madrigali Ariosi we recount the love affairs of the many characters in the Orlando Furioso, through various compositions of this particular musical genre.
Contrary to the success gained by the madrigal and opera, since the music revival in the past century, the cantata is still nowadays considered the black sheep of Early Music.
The project Caffè Cantata aims to bring the listener closer to this unique genre through a series of short concerts, showing its adaptation spirit in different cultures and social contexts. [Read more]