Cloister of the Convent of Santo Domingo
(Formerly the Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini)
VALENTINA VARRIALE: Soprano
ANTONIO FLORIO: Conductor
This concert brings together two crowd favorites: Baroque music and vocal music. This is a great chance to enjoy one of the best Baroque ensembles today: la Cappella Neapolitana Antonio Florio, formerly known as the Cappella della Pietà de’ Turchini. The founder and conductor is Antonio Florio. He is one of the world’s greatest Baroque specialists. Valentina Varriale rounds out the evening with her vocal talents.
Salve Regina for soprano and instruments by Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672)
Symphony for three violins in A minor by Nicola Fiorenza (1700ca-1764)
Salve Regina for soprano and strings by Leonardo Leo (1694-1744)
Salve Regina in A minor for soprano and strings by G. B. Pergolesi (1710-1736)
Concerto in D major for violin, strings and basso continuo, op. 3, no. 9, RV 230, by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Salve Regina for soprano, violin and strings, RV 617, by Antonio Vivaldi
Approximate length: 1 hour, 30 minutes (including 15 minute intermission)
Paolo Cantamessa, Giovanni Rota
Patrizio Focardi, Nunzia Sorrentino, Massimo Percivaldi
Rosario Di Meglio
Valentina Varriale graduated with honors from the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella in Naples and started her soloist career quite early with two performances in the Musical Autumn in the San Carlo Theater in Naples in 2001.
Valentina Varriale performed the role of Messo in the opera Statira principessa di Persia by Francesco Cavalli with the baroque orchestra Cappella Della Pietà de’ Turchini (now known as Cappella Neapolitana Antonio Florio). In 2004, she won the second Francesco Provenzale International Baroque Music Contest. In that same year, she sang the role of Armindo in Partenope, under the direction of Antonio Florio. In 2005, she collaborated with Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca on the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, conducted by Maestro Dantone.
She has worked with many well-known artists including Jordi Savall (Opheus and Vespro della beata Virgine by Monteverdi), Rinaldo Alessandrini at the Ambronay Festival, Peter Kopp at various European festivals and is currently working with Antonio Florio.
In 2007, Valentina Varriale won the first prize in the second Musica Vocale da Camera at the San Pietro a Majella conservatory. She has also received the first prize at the Benvenuto Franci Opera Competition in Pienza (2010), Vincenzo Bellini de Caltanissetta first prize (2011) and the first prize by unanimous decision in the Puccini International competition in Torre del Lago (2012).
Valentina Varriale is particularly interested in the vocal repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries and has participated in master classes in baroque singing by soprano Roberta Invernizzi, in lyrical singing by Mirella Freni, and vocal improvement classes with Lella Curbelli and June Anderson. She currently studies under the guidance of Maria Ercolano.
The musical group founded in 1987 by Antonio Florio that was originally known as Cappella Della Pietà de’ Turchini until 2010, then later as I Turchini di Antonio Florio was renamed in 2016 as Cappella Neapolitana Antonio Florio. The Cappella Neapolitana is made up of instrumentalists and singers who specialize in 17th and 18th century music from Naples and the performing pieces by forgotten composers. The originality of their programs and their strict fidelity to baroque performance style make Cappella Neapolitana one of the premiere groups in Italy as well as the rest of Europe.
Cappella Neapolitana has been invited to some of the world’s most prestigious stages such as the Accademia di Santa Cecilia de Roma, the San Carlo Theater of Napoli, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Teatro Lope de Vega in Sevilla, Associazione Scarlatti in Naples and the La Monnaie Theater in Brussels and has participated in all of the major European early music festivals.
Throughout the years, Cappella Neapolitana has accumulated a rich repertoire of opera pieces and adaptations for concert including the following: Il disperato innocente by Boerio; Dido and Aeneas and The Fairy Queen by Purcell; Festa napoletana, La Statira principessa di Persia and Montezuma by Ciccio De Majo; the premiere in modern times of La Partenope by Vinci; La finta giardiniera by Anfossi; L’Ottavia restituita al trono by Domenico Scarlatti; La Salustia by Pergolesi;andAci, Galatea e Polifemo by Händel.
Cappella Neapolitana spends a lot of time in the studio as well. They have recorded seven critically acclaimed CDs of Neapolitan Baroque music for the Symphonia label. In 1996, Cappella Neapolitana recorded the prestigious Opus 111-Naïve de París, which included 15 pieces from the Treasures of Naples collection. Some of the prizes they have received are the Le Monde newspaper prize, the Vivaldi Prize, the France Abbiati Prize, three Diapasons d’Or, the Charles Cros Prize and the Timbre de Platine. For the Glossa label, they have recorded L’Adoratione de’ Maggi by Cristofaro Caresana (Christmas Choice award from BBC Music Magazine 2010), Tenebrae and, recently, Neapolitan concertos for violoncello, with Giovanni Sollima as soloist.
In 2009, Cappella Neapolitana focused on the preparation of the opera Partenope by Vinci in collaboration with the Spanish National Institute of Stage Arts and Music (INAEM) and did an extensive tour of Italy performing the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi. In January of 2010, they performed the modern day premiere of Orpheus and Euridice by J. J. Fux. In 2012 and 2013, they performed in the Konzerthaus in Viena, in the Calderón Theater in Valladolid with L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi, with mise-en-scène by Emilio Sagi, in the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, in the Philharmonie in Cologne and in the Auditorio for the Week of Religious Music in Cuenca, as well as concerts in Luxembourg, Holland and France.In January 2015, Cappella Neapolitana did an extensive tour of the Canary Islands as part of the Canary Islands Music Festival.
Antonio Florio was born in Bari, Italy, and graduated from the conservatory in his hometown where he received classical training in the cello, piano and composition under the tutelage of Nino Rota. After graduation, he focused on the study of early musical instruments and baroque performance. After founding the performance group Cappella Della Pietà de’ Turchini (today known as Cappella Neapolitana Antonio Florio), he divided his time between performances and intense musicology research on the entire repertoire of Neapolitan music in the 17th and 18th centuries. His research uncovered veritable masterpieces of opera that had been completely unknown, which he then performed in the most prestigious theatres in Italy as well as the rest of Europe. These rediscovered pieces include La colomba ferita (1670), Il Schiavo di sua moglie (1671) and La Stellidaura vendicante (1674) by Francesco Provenzale; Il disperato innocente by Francesco Boerio (1673), La finta cameriera by Gaetano Latilla (1767), Li Zite’n galera by Leonardo Vinci (1722), Il Pulcinella vendicato by Giovanni Paisiello (1767), La Statira by Francesco Cavalli (the 1666 Naples edition) and Motezuma by Francesco De Majo (1765).
In recent years, he worked on the recuperation and revision of La Partenope, an opera seria by Leonardo Vinci. In 2005, he rediscovered and revised La finta giardiniera, an opera by Pasquale Anfossi. In 2006, he conducted his ensemble at the prestigious Anima Mundi festival in Pisa, Italy, then went to China and performed the Festa Napoletana show in four different venues.In 2008, he directed Alidoro, the opera by Leonardo Leo, which was published in DVD format and received the prestigious Diapason D’Orprize. In that same year in Oviedo, he received the Luis García Iberni prize for Best Conducting for his work on the first performance in modern times of the opera, Ottavia restituita al trono by Domenico Scarlatti. In 2009, he conducted Acis, Galatea e Polifemo by Händel at the MITO festival, in the Royal Theatre of Turin and in the restored Teatrino di Corte di Palazzo Reale in Naples. In 2010, he conducted Orpheus and Eurydice by Johann Joseph Fux in the Konzerthaus concert hall in Vienna. He’s also conducted the baroque orchestra Casa da Música de Oporto on several occasions as well as the Galician Symphonic in A Coruña in 2011 and 2013. In 2015, he returned to the Konzerthaus in Vienna to direct Dorimena e Tuberone by Francesco Conti. In that same year, he also directed L’incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi with the help of scene director Emilio Sagi at the Teatro Calderón in Valladolid.