The three-act opera Agrippina HWV 6, composed by Georg Friedrich Handel, is certainly one of the composer’s first great Italian operas, if not his first masterpiece. Inspired by Greek tragedy and benefitting from a lively and animated style, it’s superbly performed by the ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, which specializes in historical Baroque interpretation. Joyce DiDonato interprets her role as Agrippina with ease, but the success of this recording also owes much to the performances of singers Franco Fagioli, Luca Pisaroni, Elsa Benoit and Jakub Józef Orlinski. Quebecer Marie-Nicole Lemieux, who plays the role of Giunone, also deserves a special mention. The cast collectively helps to convey the passion and power that emanates from this opera.
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