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How monarchic was my sprezzatura!

“Yet the evening’s first words, heard in the set-piece Ombra ma fui—like all of Xerxes’ arias sung with monarchic sprezzatura and amoral relish by Stella Doufexis—came unexpectedly in Italian. It was flagrant violation of this house’s fundamental principle, here brushed aside by the cultural capital of the aria and deemed insufficient to sunder the inextricable bonds between the Italian text and Handel’s melody. It was as if the composer and his music, through his advocate Herheim, was holding ground at least at the outset against appropriation of his music by the moderns.”

Oh, what’s not to like in a review like this one?

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