Music: the Chinese star Bing Bing Wang in Taormina with the Rome Baroque Orchestra

On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the birth of Tomaso Albinoni, the great composer born in Venice on June 8, 1671, celebrated all over the world for his music among the most performed together with those of Antonio Vivaldi during the Republic of the Serenissima of Venice, the city of Taormina will host a prestigious series of Baroque music concerts dedicated to the great composer on the occasion of Christmas 2021. This is an absolute novelty in the panorama of the show in Sicily that finally brings great music back to Taormina on the occasion of the Christmas festivities, offering for the whole of next December an original and exclusive high-level musical programming, with concerts and events that will enhance the baroque architectural features, thanks to the choice of places. ù

From 7 to 22 December 2021 it will therefore be Taormina to host the special event ‘The Splendor of the Baroque: Tomaso Albinoni in the 350th anniversary of his birth’, or a series of Baroque music concerts offered and produced by the Belliniano Festival with free admission, up to exhaustion of available places and in full compliance with anti-covid regulations. The Belliniano Festival thus returns to Taormina and does so in grand style, inaugurating the event on 7 December at 19.30 at the Cathedral of Taormina, or in the Cathedral Basilica of San Nicolò di Bari, the main place of worship of medieval origin in Taormina. rebuilt in the 17th century with the overlapping of the baroque portal in the main façade, the series of marble tables leaning against the walls and the construction of the chapels in the side apses. A true jewel of Sicilian Baroque architecture that blends well with the Baroque music of Tomaso Albinoni.

‘The Splendor of the Baroque: Tomaso Albinoni on the 350th anniversary of his birth’ will in fact offer a careful selection of some of his most important compositions over the next month of December, whose music strongly attracted the attention of other composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and was considered worthy of the works of Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Corelli, leaving a repertoire of great instrumental and lyrical value, enhancing above all the oboe, an instrument little used in Italy.

The inaugural concert, entitled “Amor, sorte, fate”, will therefore offer at the Cathedral of Taormina, on 7 December at 19.30, a baroque program of great charm that will see the Antiqua Baroque Orchestra as protagonists on original period instruments performing under the direction by Stefano Sovrani the Sonata n. 3 op. 2 for string orchestra and continuo and the famous Concerto op. 9 n. 2 for oboe and string orchestra by Albinoni, together with other pages by Alessandro Marcello, whose Concerto in D minor for oboe will be performed, and by Antonio Vivaldi, with the Concerto in G minor RV 157 for string orchestra and harpsichord, as well as the Concerto Grosso op. VI n. 8 ‘for Christmas Eve’ by Arcangelo Corelli. A program that will then be embellished by the rarely heard cantatas of Tomaso Albinoni.

After the inaugural concert, the ‘Lo Splendore del Barocco’ event will take us to the Church of San Giuseppe, on 11 December, again at 19.30. The Church of San Giuseppe is probably the most important baroque example of the city of Taormina, built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the baroque scenery par excellence of Taormina ‘baroque city’ with the balcony-churchyard and the raised floor. compared to the main street, connected by a double flight of stairs in Syracuse stone and Taormina stone in the chromatic shades of white, gray and pink. On the program, for this second concert, music by Albinoni, including pieces from the oratorio Maria Annunziata, but not only, with the talented soprano Gonca Dogan who will interpret arias by Caccini, Cesti, Scarlatti, Caldara, Vivaldi, Haendel, Marcello, Pergolesi , Gluck, for an authentic feast of Baroque music completely new to Sicily and the city of Taormina, with the accompaniment of the Harmonia Urbis & Baroque Orchestra, interpreted in the most baroque church par excellence.

Numerous concerts and collateral events will take place throughout the month of December, making Taormina a baroque city also finally under the banner of great music, thanks to the prestige of famous groups and artists such as the Ensemble Galante, the Monteverdi Venice Academy Choir, the Orchestra Ponte, Roberto Zarpelon, Harmonia Urbis & Antiqua, Guido Ivesh, whose complete program can be consulted on the Bellini Festival website, but the final concert is already announced as the long-awaited ‘Christmas Concert 2021 ‘, missing from Taormina for too many years. The grand finale therefore on December 22, when Taormina will welcome back to the Duomo, again at 19.30 and always with free admission (subject to availability of seats in compliance with the anti-covid rules), the final concert of the ‘Splendor of the Baroque’ with the international star Bing Bing Wang, one of the most famous Chinese sopranos accompanied for the occasion by the Rome Baroque Orchestra in a baroque repertoire entirely dedicated to Albinoni and Christmas with the most famous Christmas arias at the end. The concert, which will last an hour and a quarter, will be filmed by Rai and broadcast. ‘The Splendor of the Baroque: Tomaso Albinoni on the 350th anniversary of his birth’ is an exclusive project of the Belliniano Festival Foundation, a special project of the Ministry of Culture, created in collaboration with the portal