The music of The Enchanted Island

The Met has released a list of the music used in their upcoming pasticcio, The Enchanted Island. The selection ranges from well-known (“Agitata da due
venti” is apparently David Daniels’s or possibly Danielle De Niese’s 11:00 number, and “Endless pleasure”
from Semele is set as a quartet [?]) to relatively obscure items.
Handel dominates, and the French music provides most of the dances.
Placido Domingo will arrive as Neptune to the strains of “Zadok the priest,” best known to British people for its use in coronations and as the “Champion’s League” theme song.

In case you were wondering, the plot will combine The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can read a synopsis here (PDF). It sounds a little complicated?

I spent some time on the YouTubes and put together these playlists of the originals. The first contains the music of Act 1 and the second Act 2, in the order they will appear. (Remember that in the pasticcio they will be contrafacted, that is given new texts.) I wasn’t able to find everything but did locate most of it. Some of the videos are longer excerpts of which the pasticcio will use only a part. A few of the interpretations here aren’t ideal, but many are outstanding, reminding us how far Baroque performance has come in the last decade. (Keep an eye out for our favorite Simone Kermes, who brings her best dance moves to Vivaldi’s “Dopo un’ orrida procella.” Sadly, her Met debut is yet to be announced.)



Previously: Enchanted Island and baroque opera

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4 Comments

  1. "This my hope for the future" (Prospero) – "Can you feel the heavens are reeling" (Ariel)
    Vivaldi: Griselda, RV 718, Act II, scene 2, "Agitata da due venti"

    I'm guessing it's Ariel's aria, not Prospero's.

  2. You're right, the latter scans much better with the music. But De Niese singing that? Oy. I kinda like her, actually, but a coloratura virtuosa she is not.

  3. I agree – I like De Niese more than most other people, but "Un pensiero" and "Agitata" are not what I would want to hear from her…