French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky performs Verdi Prati, an aria from George Frideric Händel‘s opera “Alcina,” which premiered in 1735. Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by Andrea Marcon. This performance was recorded in 2015.

French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky performs Verdi Prati, an aria from George Frideric Händel’s opera “Alcina,” which premiered in 1735. Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by Andrea Marcon.
  • Ruggiero – Philippe Jaroussky (Alto)
  • Morgana – Anna Prohaska (Soprano)
  • Bradamante – Katarina Bradić (Alto)

George Frideric Händel’s Verdi Prati

“Verdi prati” is an aria from George Frideric Handel’s opera “Alcina,” which premiered in 1735. This opera is one of Handel’s most celebrated works and is notable for its rich orchestration and beautiful arias. “Alcina” is based on the epic poem “Orlando Furioso” by Ludovico Ariosto, which was first published in 1516. The story revolves around the sorceress Alcina, who enchants and seduces knights and warriors, turning them into stones, animals, or plants when she tires of them.

In the opera, “Verdi prati” is sung by the character Ruggiero in Act II. Ruggiero, a knight, has been enchanted by Alcina and is in love with her. However, in this aria, he has been made aware of Alcina’s true nature and her deceitful ways. The aria is a reflection of Ruggiero’s realization of the illusionary beauty of Alcina’s magical island and his longing for the real world. The text of the aria translates to “Green meadows, and you, lovely trees, so soon you will lose your beauty,” highlighting the transient and deceptive nature of the enchantment.

Musically, “Verdi prati” stands out for its simplicity and elegance. It is written in a slow, contemplative tempo, with a focus on the expressive melody line. The orchestration is sparse, which allows the vocal line to shine, and the aria is characterized by its smooth, flowing melody that captures the melancholic realization of Ruggiero.

Handel’s ability to convey deep emotions through simple yet powerful music is evident in this aria. It remains one of the most famous arias from “Alcina” and is often performed in concerts and recitals.

Verdi Prati lyrics [Text]

Italian: Verdi Prati

Verdi prati, selve amene,
perderete la beltà.
Vaghi fior, correnti rivi,
la vaghezza, la bellezza
presto in voi si cagerà.
E cangiato il vago oggetto
all orror del primo aspetto
tutto in voi ritornerà.

English Translation: Green Meadows

Green meadows, pleasant forests,
you will lose the beauty.
Vague flowers, flowing streams,
vagueness, and beauty
will soon settle in you.
And the vague object has changed
at the horror of the first sight
everything in you will return.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened andantemoderato.com to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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