It was about time for the Solisti Veneti to comeback to Athens for two consecutive concerts of Italian music. They are after all one of the oldest groups of baroque music, dedicated especially to Vivaldi, the heart of the group being Maestro Claudio Scimone.
    In Athens they gave two concerts on the 1st and 2nd of March with popular and some not so popular pieces. The soloist in these concerts was the Greek Mezzo-soprano Marita Papparizou who has sung many times with the Solisti Veneti, and was especially noted for a concert in Paris a few years ago.
Scimone performed an array of various Italian concertos and arias by such diverse composers as Vivaldi, Bertoni, Dragonetti, Paganini, and Haendel.
The first concert was dedicated to  concerti for various instruments, a good showcase for the soloists of the Orchestra, but all ears were tuned to the star of the evening Marita Paparizou, who sung some of the most demanding arias of the baroque repertoire , arias by Vivaldi, Haendel and Bertoni, proving that she is the main exponent of this kind of music in Greece.
Haendel’s aria “Venti turbini” from “Rinaldo” had a shaky start mainly due to unregulated tempi between the Orchestra and the maestro which threw off the singer in the first few bars, but the whole thing came back together and finished as planned with no more problems. The second aria from Vivaldi’s unknown opera “Farnace” was the delight of the evening, although it was rather hurried away with brisk tempi, a more relaxed and expanded attitude would have benefited the piece even more, so that the singer could expand the voice in all its colors and dramatic aspects something so essential to this tragic aria.
The piece de resistance, Bertoni’s great aria “Addio miei sospiri”, went without problems, and gave the opportunity to M.Papparizou to show off her impeccable technique. It was a real triumph for the singer, and a performance that shook up the audience.