Directed by Ivars Taurins

Steffani: Drama & Devotion

Thu Nov 8, Fri Nov 9, Sat Nov 10 at 8pm, Sun Nov 11, 2018 at 3:30pm Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul's Centre Map

Directed by Ivars Taurins
Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

Discover sacred and secular works by a forgotten composer of the baroque era.

Diplomat, spy, priest, singer—Agostino Steffani was a busy man. He was also the composer of some of the most captivating music of his time. Steffani wrote for both the church and the opera house, and the sheer beauty of his music explains his new-found popularity in the 21st century. 

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, together with star Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, share a portrait of Steffani both dramatic and devotional. We hear stunning arias from his operas, and the piece Steffani claimed was his finest: his ethereal setting of the Stabat Mater, an iconic poem on a mother's grief for her son.

What's interesting about this concert?
  • Steffani had a fascinating life: in addition to being a very renowned composer in his day and a mentor to Handel, he was also a diplomat, politician, spy, and priest.
  • The sacred works in the first half of the concert span Steffani's career: the Beatus vir is one of his earliest works, and the Stabat Mater is his last (and the one he considered his masterpiece).
  • The second half is a collage of music written for the opera house, connected by themes of love, revenge, and conflict, specially curated by director Ivars Taurins.
  • "Outrageously talented" (Ottawa Citizen) Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó shines in both this concert and our annual performances of Handel's Messiah this season.

Join us for a free pre-concert chat one hour before the show with Larry Beckwith titled "Agostino Steffani: The Considerable Influence of a Musical Diplomat".

Listen to Krisztina Szabó perform with Early Music Vancouver & Pacific Baroque Orchestra and conductor Alexander Weimann


Agostino Steffani

  • Beatus vir a 8 (1676) ♫
  • Stabat Mater dolorosa (1728)

A pastiche of arias, duets, choruses & instrumental movements from Steffani’s operas

  • Aria “Non prendo consiglio” from La superbia d’Alessandro ♫
  • Ouverture to La lotte d’Hercole ♫
  • Aria “Morirò” from Henrico Leone ♫
  • Les ombres, from La libertà contenta ♫
  • Ouverture to Niobe ♫
  • Aria & Chorus “Tra la guerre” from La superbia d’Alessandro) ♫
  • Chaconne, from Henrico Leone ♫
  • Duet “T’abbraccio” from Niobe ♫
  • Aria “Sposa, mancar mi sento” from Tassilone ♫
  • Air tendre, from La superbia d’Alessandro ♫
  • Aria “Dell’alma stanca” from Niobe ♫
  • Chorus “Non si parli” from Marco Aurelio ♫
  • Aria “Ogni core” from Servio Tullio ♫
  • Duet & Chorus “Timore, ruine” from Le rivale concordi ♫

♫ First performance by Tafelmusik

You will need to sign-up for a free Spotify account to listen to full tracks.

 Concert run time: approximately 2 hours including a 20 minute intermission.