"Nel profondo," from Handel's Orlando Furioso


performed at Staunton Music Festival

August 23, 2014

Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton, VA


Sara Couden, contralto

Martin Davids, violin

June Huang, violin

Fiona Hughes, violin

Gesa Kordes, violin

Alissa Smith, viola

Anna Steinhoff, cello

Anthony Manzo, violone

David Walker, theorbo

Mark Shuldiner, harpsichord

Francesco Pedrini, organ


video by Stewart Searle





About the Music

Among Antonio Vivaldi's operas is Orlando furioso, RV 728, which sets scenes from the 1532 epic poem of that name by Ludovico Ariosto.  Ariosto’s poem inspired operas from Caccini to Lully and Handel, and Vivaldi himself was involved with at least three different projects on Orlando.  The aria “Nel profondo” from his 1727 musical drama occurs in the first act, expressing the title character’s jealousy of a rival.  It is a powerful statement, defiant and virtuosic, and has become one of the signature moments in all Baroque opera.



Nel profondo cieco mondo

si precipiti la sorte

già spietata a questo cor.


Vincerà l’amor più forte

con l’aita del valor.


Into the deep dark world, 
let the fate once merciless

to my heart tumble down.

The stronger love will conquer 
with the aid of courage.




Sara Couden, contralto, is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, as well as the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the San Francisco Conservatory. Highlights of recent seasons include: the role of Albine in the Metropolitan Opera production of Thaïs, excerpts from Zauberflöte with the LA Philharmonic, Mahler 2 with the Santa Cruz Symphony, Das Lied von der Erde with New York chamber ensemble Cantata Profana, Petr Eben’s Loveless Songs with Kim Kashkashian at Marlboro Music Festival, From Jewish Folk Poetry and the Canary Cantata with Music @ Menlo, and B Minor Mass with Masaaki Suzuki at Yale’s Woolsey Hall.





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