Maestro David Stern in Beijing to lead in opera Serse
Maestro David Stern is returning to China, bringing with him his Baroque opera "Serse", which will be performed in China for the first time on Thursday night.
Stern says that the show, which is part of the ongoing Beijing Music Festival, is a commemoration of the German-English Baroque composer George Frideric Handel.
He spoke about some of the features of Baroque music."So the talking is the story, and the singing is the emotion. And in Baroque music, you always have important contrasts. So in an aria, the singer will start talking about love and then the second part will talk about sadness. It's like Baroque architecture: everything is really well-placed so that you can see the difference between a strong emotion, a weak emotion, sadness, anger and everything is very clearly lined up."
In the story, Xerxes, the King of Persia, resolves to marry Romilda. However, Xerxes brother, Arsamene, is also in love with Romilda.
Baroque opera show Serse was staged in Beijing on Thursday, October 17, 2019.[Photo provided to China Plus]
William Shelton plays Arsamene. He will sing in a soft falsetto, a register that used to be performed by castrato.
"Nowadays there are countertenors who do these roles and still can sing because men have a chest voice, which is my speaking voice, and also a high head voice, which is also called falsetto. And that's why there're men like Franco Fragolio, Phillipe Jaroussky, who can sing in this kind of voice mechanism."
The role of Xerxes will be played by a Mezzo-Soprano.