Wednesday 23 November 2022

Love duets and arias from 17th-century Venice with an LGBTQ slant

Randall Scotting & Jorge Navarro Colorado
Randall Scotting & Jorge Navarro Colorado

Quite a few years ago I did an article on the blog about the representation of gay men and gay relationships in opera [see my article] and I put a post on Facebook asking musical friends for ideas. One of the eras that came up was 17th century Venice where operas by such composers were far more licentious and fuller of innuendo than would be allowed in later eras.

Now a new recording project is exploring that rather further. Countertenor Randall Scotting and tenor Jorge Navarro Colorado with Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music have recorded a disc of duets and arias from 17th century Venice that explores queer passion through the music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries. 

Jorge Navarro Colorado explains further, "This project explores love and the hardships that it sometimes causes, but also it celebrates Venice as a seventeenth-century liberal safe-haven of sorts.  A place where at that time all kinds of cultures and people were converging and more accepted.  It tells a love story through music, with all of its ups and downs; some of it is well-known and really recognizable and other things are heard on this album for the first time.  It’s been a fascinating project to work on and I can’t wait for the world to hear it!"

The recording sessions are complete, but project funding is not quite there, and Jorge Navarro Colorado has started a GoFundMe page to help them get past that final financial hurdle. Do support them.

Full details at GoFundMe.

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