Before becoming the hero of Italian opera in England, Handel spent several years in the Italian sunshine, where he immersed himself in the art of the transalpine masters and brought to life several sacred frescoes – opera itself being banned in the Eternal City at the time. His talent was such that ecclesiastical eminences willingly turned a blind eye to the young North German’s Lutheran origins. This was particularly true of Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, a poet in his spare time, who in 1707 offered him the libretto for Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno [The Triumph of Time and Disillusion]. The first Roman oratorio to come from Handel’s pen, it was premiered in the palace of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, the future Pope Alexander VIII, and features passionate exchanges between four allegorical figures who debate the attitude to be adopted by Beauty, which oscillates between the ‘carnal’ advances of Pleasure and the moralising warnings of Time and Disillusionment the latter emphasising the merits of the beauty of the soul for those who choose a life of asceticism. In the wake of their pioneering presentations on the Scala stage, Diego Fasolis and his Barocchisti present an “original” reading of this masterpiece, which Handel revised several times, highlighting the high male registers that the choir is fortunate to possess, since at the time women’s voices were not allowed to resound in Roman churches.
The Korean countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim studied in Evanston and London. He has appeared on major opera stages such as at the Berlin Staatsoper in L’incoronazione di Poppea, at Covent Garden in Le nozze di Figaro, at Theater an der Wien in La clemenza di Tito, Wiener Staatsoper in Das verratene Meer d’Henze, Santa Fe Opera in M. Butterfly, a creation by Huang Ruo, as well as at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Concertgebouw, La Fenice and the Salzburg Festival. He has played the roles of Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Cesare (Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica), Orfeo (Parnasso in festa), Barzane (Arsilda), the title role of Giulio Cesare, Nerone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Speranza (L’Orfeo) and Oreste (La belle Hélène). In concert, he performs in Carmina Burana in Seoul and in The Five Canticles de Britten at the Teatro San Carlo.
Diego Fasolis began his career as a concert organist before turning to conducting. A regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, he conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Musikverein with the Vienna Concentus Musicus and the Arnold Schönberg Choir. More recently, La Scala entrusted him with the creation of an orchestra playing on period instruments which he then conducted in Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. In 2017, he also conducted Tamerlano there with Plácido Domingo. Among his recent or upcoming engagements: La finta giardiniera at La Scala and Shanghai, L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Berlin Staatsoper, La sonnambula at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Paër’s Agnese and Così fan tutte at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Dorilla in Tempe at La Fenice, Il turco in Italia at La Scala, Cherubini’s Lo sposo di tre, e marito di nessuna at the Florence Opera, Vivaldi’s Farnace at the Teatro Malibran in Venice, Handel’s Alessandro with the Kammerorchester Basel in Göttingen, Paris and Basel. In 2019, Diego Fasolis was nominated in the category “Conductor of the Year” at the International Opera Awards.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Faramondo (2009), Rinaldo (2011), Farnace (2011), L’Artaserse (2012), Dorilla in Tempe (2014), Die Zauberflöte (2015), Ariodante (2016), La clemenza di Tito (2018), Orpheus and Eurydice (2019), and Meyerbeer’s Gli amori di Teolinda (2019).