An exceptional piece of Vivaldi which sticks to his formula for writing operas but uses a most unusual story for him. Very well played and sung . I draw your attention to Mary-Ellen Nesi who sings Mitrena with great passion
The score of this opera was rediscovered in Berlin in 2002, but parts of acts 1 and 3 were lost. Alan Curtis gave the work of reconstruction to Alessandro Ciccolini, a specialist of baroque music, who recreated the missing musical parts. This work is well done and it allows us to have another opera of Vivaldi on DVD. There are not many, unfortunately, even if Naïve is doing an excellent job in issuing all the operas on CD, but of course you don't have the visual part of the show. The musicians conducted by Curtis play very beautiful music, and the singers are amazing, beginning with Mary-Ellen Nesi in the difficult role of Mitrena. The staging is very well done; the costumes are beautiful and completely adapted to the Aztec background. I would have preferred a less dark setting; this would have made the scenery more suitable for the small screen.
This Vivaldi"s opera deserved a better performance. I like the boldness of the main character to perform naked (yes, he is handsome). but I disliked his voice. The other singers are quite good. As for the music... it's pure Vivaldi in pleasant clothes, yet not his better ones.
The music and opera is beautiful. However of the six main characters in the opera only one is a male. Montazumas's wife and daughter are of course women but why are Cortes, his brother, and head warrier all female. No matter how many fake moustaches and armour you but on them they still look like women. I realize that these parts were written for castrati but can't the Met and La Scala try singers like Philippe Jaroussky [ countertenor ] and Max Cencic [ mezzo soprano ] in the castrato parts. They both have beautiful voices.