Opera Singers, Collegium Ducale
Collegium Ducale’s concert, Opera Singers, in wonderful Venice, is an event that lovers of music and history will not want to miss. Collegium Ducale has been delighting audiences in La Serenissima since 1993 with its renditions of classics drawn from across the repertoire, from the Baroque right through to the twentieth century.
Opera Singers is Collegium Ducale’s journey across centuries of music-making; Rossini and Brahms to Gershwin and Ginastera, and still there is time to touch upon the genre of Neapolitan song; it is a concert that has something for everyone. Collegium Ducale’s excellent singers, accompanied at the piano, will enthral you with their interpretation of some of the most beautiful melodies ever written.
The venue for Opera Singers is the historic Prisons’ Palace. The name sounds like a contradiction, but it perfectly sums up the character of Venice. The city is, after all, the birthplace of both Canaletto and Casanova; something darker has always lain hidden beneath Venice’s architectural and artistic splendour.
The Palazzo delle Prigioni was built at the end of the sixteenth century, a solution, long overdue, to deal with the lack of space for Venice's criminals in the Doge's Palace on the other side of the Rio di Palazzo. Its chief architect, Antonio da Ponte, also designed the Rialto Bridge while it was his nephew, Antonio Contino, who built the beautifully named Bridge of Sighs which connects the two palaces.
Nowadays, the Prisons’ Palace is filled with the sound of joyous music rather than the laments of its former residents; a gift to the city from the House of Savoy. When the musicians and singers of Collegium Ducale play there, they bring a historical authenticity to their performances that sets them apart from those of many other ensembles.
Venice is a city like no other. Seemingly afloat on the waters of the Adriatic, it sometimes seems impossible that it can exist at all. Collegium Ducale’s Opera Singers is a performance that fully captures the fragile magnificence of the Serenissima.