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Vocal  Divas of Mozart's Day 
Divas of Mozart's Day
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Divas of Mozart's Day
Patrice Michaels, soprano
Peter Van De Graaff, bass-baritone
Classical Arts Orchestra
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Cedille Records CDR 90000 064

"Michaels was in top form -- her voice luminous, diction clear and phrasing exquisite. She negotiated the octaves with deceptive ease and her acting was bewitching . . . [The] Classical Arts Orchestra . . . played with spirit and finesse." (Chicago Tribune -- on the concert presentation of Divas of Mozart's Day)

Acclaimed soprano Patrice Michaels evokes the leading prima donnas of classical-period Vienna by singing pieces tailored to their talents by Mozart and fellow composers Salieri, Martin y Soler, Cimarosa, Righini, and Stephen Storace.

Hear works written for Nancy Storace (the original Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro), Caterina Cavalieri (the first Constanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio), Luisa Laschi Mombelli (the first Countess), Adriana Ferrarese (the first Fiordiligi), and Louise Villeneuve (the first Dorabella).

Portraits of these singers emerge through the radiant voice of Patrice Michaels and the period-instrument prowess of the Classical Arts Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Alltop. The program includes two never-before recorded Mozart recitatives and a rarely heard duet Mozart wrote for the 1788 Vienna production of Don Giovanni.

You can find out more about the concert performances of this program at
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (76:00)

1 MOZART Wolfgang Amadeus: "Tra l oscure ombre funeste" from Davidde penitente, K. 469 (1785) (6:58)

2 RIGHINI Vincenzo: "Per pieta, deh, ricercate" from L incontro inaspettato (1785) (4:50)

3 SALIERI Antonio: "Wenn dem Adler das Gefieder" from Der Rauchfangkehrer (1781) (5:25)

4 MOZART:"Chio mi scordi di te . . . Non temer, amato bene" K. 505 (1787) (10:10) with Stephen Alltop, fortepiano solo

5 MARTIN Y SOLER Vicente: "Dolce mi parve un dý" from Una cosa rara (1786) (3:33)

6 SALIERI: "La ra la, che filosofo buffon" from La grotta di Trofonio (1785) (2:57) with Peter Van De Graaff, bass-baritone

7 STORACE Stephen: "How Mistaken is the Lover" from The Doctor and the Apothecary (1788) (3:25)

8 MOZART: "Al desio, di chi t adora" K. 577 from Le nozze di Figaro (1789 revival) (6:02)

9 SALIERI: "Alfin son sola . . . Sola e mesta fra tormenti" from La cifra (1790) (8:47)

10 MOZART: "Restati qua . . . Per queste tue manine" K. 540b from Don Giovanni (Vienna, 1788) (5:24) with Peter Van De Graaff, bass-baritone

11 MARTIN Y SOLER: "Sereno raggio" from L arbore di Diana (1787) (2:59)*

12 MOZART: "Ahi cosa veggio* . . . Vado, ma dove?" K. 583 (5:38) Substitute aria in Martin y Solers Il burbero di buon core (1789)

13 MOZART and CIMAROSA Domenico: No caro, fa coraggio* . . . (9:06) Insertion aria in Guglielmis La quakera spiritosa (1790)

* = World Premiere Recording

Additional Credits: Gianna Panowski, translations. Nathan Mead, copyist. Fortepiano made available by David Schrader. Keyboard preparation, Paul Irvin. / Recorded: February 11, 12, 18, 20 in Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia, Highland Park, Illinois / Producer: James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Front Cover Photography: Nesha & Kumiko Fotodesign / Costume: Julia Needlman, Needlman Designer Custom Sewing / Graphic Design: Melanie Germond / Notes: Dorothea Link