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About this Piece

“Come in van oil mare irato,” from Catone in Utica (Verona, 1737). *This high point of Vivaldi’s virtuosic manner is entrusted to Emilia, the widow of Pompey. Noble spirited and high minded, she declares her resolution to seek revenge against Caesar, insisting that nothing will deflect her from her aim. The aria is an impressive Allegro molto…, the pyrotechnics placed entirely at the service of the drama: In the middle of a vocal tempest raging over more than two octaves and culminating in an extraordinary coloratura passage on the key word “spaventar” (frighten) that twice tumbles out…, the skillfully graded vocal gymnastics cleverly illustrate Emilia’s agitation as she veers between terror and determination.*