Rolando Villazón
Handel Arias
Director: Henning Kasten
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: different lengths available
16:9 shot in digital video | stereo
© 2008, a production of BFMI for Unitel in co-production with ZDF
It would be hard to ima­gine a more se­duct­ive hero, a more pas­sion­ate per­former, a more glor­i­ous in­ter­pret­er of the great Ro­mantic roles of Verdi and Puccini than Ro­lan­do Villazón. Yet the sing­er’s tem­por­ary with­draw­al from the spot­light in 2007 opened up a wealth of new pos­sib­il­it­ies for the sing­er. Among the “new paths” that Villazón en­vi­sioned for the fu­ture were “ad­ven­tures” such the Baroque mu­sic of George Frider­ic Han­del.

This in­tim­ate con­cert fea­tur­ing Villazón and the Gab­ri­eli Play­ers un­der Paul Mc­Creesh was filmed in a set­ting that ideally suits the style of the mu­sic, St. Paul’s Church in Dept­ford, near Lon­don, one of Bri­tain’s finest Baroque churches. It was built between 1712 and 1730, al­most ex­actly when Han­del was writ­ing his most cel­eb­rated op­er­as and ora­tor­i­os.
Villazón proves that he is a mas­ter of dazzling col­oratura, vir­tu­oso runs and ex­press­ive can­tabile melod­ies. Among the high­lights of the con­cert – which also in­cludes two purely or­ches­tral works – are the be­loved arioso "Om­bra mai fù" from Serse, Grimoaldo’s aria "Pastorello d’un povero ar­mento" from Rodelinda, the lyr­ic­al, long­ing "Scherza in­fida" from Ariod­ante, and Ba­jaz­et’s spir­ited aria "Ciel e terra armi di sde­gno" from Tam­er­lano. Villazón is joined by sop­rano Re­becca Bot­tone and coun­terten­or Timothy Tra­vers-Brown in the death scene of Ba­jaz­et from Tam­er­lano.
Avail­able as Lim­ited CD+DVD De­luxe Edi­tion.