il pomo d’oro is an orchestra founded in the year 2012 with a special focus on opera, but equally committed to instrumental performance in various formations. The musicians united in this group are among the best to be found worldwide for authentic and vivid interpretation on period instruments. They form an ensemble of outstanding quality, combining stylistic knowledge, the highest technical skills, and artistic enthusiasm. The collaboration with violinist and conductor Riccardo Minasi led to an award winning first recording (Vivaldi, Per l’Imperatore). The second recording, Vivaldi’s violin concerts Per Pisendel with Dmitry Sinkovsky as soloist and conductor, received a Diapason d’Or. In 2012, il pomo d’oro also recorded 3 solo CDs with three countertenors – Max Emanuel Cencic (Venezia), Xavier Sabata (Bad Guys) and Franco Fagioli (Arias for Caffarelli), under Riccardo Minasi’s direction. The album Arias for Caffarelli was awarded the ‘Choc de l’annee 2013’ by the French magazine ‘Classica’. A further contribution to the Naive-Vivaldi-Edition was a recording of the Concerti per due violini, played and directed by Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky, released in October 2013. In conjunction with a book project about the Venetian Gondola by American writer Donna Leon, il pomo d’oro recorded a collection of ancient Venetian Barcarole, sung by Vincenzo Capezzuto. A recital of various Agrippina Arias – most of them world premieres on CD – with the Swedish mezzosoprano Ann Hallenberg, directed by Riccardo Minasi, was released in 2015 and presented in various concerts in Germany, Italy and Spain. Also the new album with Max Emanuel Cencic, Arie Napoletane (directed by Maxim Emelyanychev, released in November 2015) includes many world premiere recordings.
il pomo d’oro so far recorded three operas: Handel’s Tamerlano, Catone in Utica by Leonardo Vinci, and Handel’s Partenope, all directed by Riccardo Minasi. Partenope was released in December 2015.
Further instrumental recordings include Haydn’s concerts for harpsichord and violin, co-directed by Maxim Emelanychev as harpsichord-soloist and Riccardo Minasi as violin-soloist (to be released in early 2016), and a violoncello recital with Edgar Moreau with works by Haydn, Boccherini, Platti, Graziani, Vivaldi, which was released in November 2015.
Il pomo d’oro performs in all important European venues and festivals: Paris (Théâtre des Champs Elysées), Versailles (Théâtre Royal), London (Wigmore Hall), Vienna (Theater an der Wien), Madrid, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Geneva, St. Moritz, Copenhagen, Potsdam, Schwetzingen, Beaune, Cologne, Hamburg, Göttingen, Halle, Gstaad, among others). In 2015, il pomo d’oro accompagnied American mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato on her tour in Asia and presented the new album Arie Napoletane with Max Emanuel Cencic on tour in the United States of America.
In 2016 there will be tours with the Handel operas Partenope and Rinaldo, and concerts with Edgar Moreau, the Labeque sisters, Love Duets with Emöke Barath and Valer Sabadus, Gondola with Vincenzo Capezzuto and Donna Leon, Arie Napoletane with Max Emanuel Cencic, and Joyce DiDonato with her new recital to be recorded with il pomo d’oro in March 2016.
Further recordings in 2016 include Ottone by Handel and a new recital of Venetian music with Ann Hallenberg.
On January 1st, 2016, the collaboration with Riccardo Minasi ended and the Russian conductor Maxim Emelyanychev was appointed principal conductor of il pomo d’oro. In the future, the orchestra will also work with the conductors Stefano Montanari and George Petrou.
The name of the orchestra refers to the title of an opera by Antonio Cesti, composed for the wedding of Emperor Leopold I of Austria with Margarita Teresa of Spain in Vienna in 1666. The opera was the final part of an imperial celebration of incredible multimedial splendour, starting with fireworks of 73.000 rockets and a horse-ballet of 300 horses. With its twenty-four different stage sets and stunning special effects like collapsing towers, flying gods and sinking ships, „Il Pomo d’Oro“ was probably the most excessive and expensive operatic production in the then young history of the genre. It provided roles for fifty singers, and it lasted ten hours – ten hours of magnificent spectacle and beautiful music.