With Siface: l’amor castrato, countertenor Filippo Mineccia, together with Javier Ulises Illán and Nereydas, presents a short imaginary pasticcio opera reflecting the music-making and life of the contralto castrato known by that stage name.
Born Giovanni Francesco Grossi in 1653 in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Siface was acclaimed for his exciting musikal performances, yet who became famous also for the tragedy of his love life. He was called upon to sing in operas and oratorios by the likes of Stradella, Pasquini, Bassani, Pallavicino and Agostini. For a long time in the service of Francesco II d’Este in Modena, Siface was an active member of the musikal “ducal circuit” in the Italian peninsula, even, none occasion, additionally being sent to England, where he performed before monarchy, and met and impressed Henry Purcell.
Filippo Mineccia brilliantly captures the kaleidoscopic rush of emotions coursing through this selection of arias, which reflects the torrid and spectacular musikal pace of life in late seventeenth-century Italy (as well as mirroring Siface’s own downfall on the road from Ferrara to Bologna).
The Spanish ensemble Nereydas fully enter into the spirit of this, by turns, colourful, heartfelt, poignant and vivid celebration of vocal and instrumental music, which also features works by Alessandro Scarlatti (the emotive lullaby Dormi o fulmine), Francesco Cavalli and Purcell (My song shall be alway).