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"This is an immensely appealing recording - a gripping story told with plenty of verve and style" Alexandra Coghlan, Gramaphone Magazine


“Whelan handles the music with typically invigorating drive and, like the agile mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, responds to the album’s classical treatment of Irish tunes without undue sentimentality. **** ”

Michael Dervan, Irish Times


The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland is Irish Baroque Orchestra's exciting new release on the LINN recording label. It was inspired by the Italian castrato Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci, a fascinating opera superstar and a regular performer on the music scene in Ireland. 


Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci was a celebrated castrato in 1760s Dublin who led a colourful life. People flocked to hear him perform and he counted Johann Christian Bach, Mozart and Thomas Arne among his illustrious admirers. He briefly taught singing to Mozart. However, it was for his relationship with his Irish singing student 15 year old Dorothea Maunsell, and their subsequent elopement and marriage, that gained Tenducci his greatest notoriety. 


The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland is performed by Irish Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of Peter Whelan, IBO's Artistic Director, and with celebrated Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught portraying Tenducci. It features modern day premieres of orchestral music, songs and arias associated with Tenducci, and which were familiar to 18th century Irish audiences. 


Peter Whelan, speaking about the release of The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland says,

"I am intrigued by Tenducci's story, his larger-than-life personality and his wide-reaching influence as a castrato on opera. We're thrilled to have our own Irish opera star Tara Erraught perform the songs and arias associated with Tenducci. I'd love these new recordings to whet people's interest in the music of mid-18th century Ireland during Tenducci's time here, his close artistic relationships with many composers, and the wonderful songs he popularised."


The selection of recordings on The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland reflect Tenducci's musical connections with several composers. 


These include: Pierre Van Maldere reputed as the first composer of symphonies in Dublin, Tommaso Giordani who taught John Field and composed and arranged operas for the Smock Alley and Crow Street Theatres, Johann Christian Fischer who performed with Bach and Tenducci, and who wrote a set of variations on the Irish folk song Gramachee Molly as the finale for his Seventh Oboe Concerto. 


Featured works on The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland include: Symphony in G major by Pierre Van Maldere; Caro mio ben and Queen Mary's Lamentation - two songs by Tommaso Giordani closely associated with Tenducci; Water parted from the sea by Thomas Arne; an arrangement of The Braes of Ballenden arranged by Johann Christian Bach which was a particular favourite of Tenducci. 


The Trials of Tenducci - A Castrato in Ireland is the second in a series of five releases seeking to tell the rich stories of Ireland's Baroque era. The orchestra's first release in the series was "Welcome Home, Mr. Dubourg" (2019) on Linn Records. 

The Trials of Tenducci

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