Michael Spyres and Il pomo d’oro: Tenore Assoluto

Il pomo doro (photo: Julien Mignot)

The name says it all: when the ensemble Il pomo d’oro was founded ten years ago, it named itself after a sensational Baroque opera by Antonio Cesti. Since then, musical theatre of the 17th and 18th centuries has been the focus of Il pomo d’oro, which the press describes as “perhaps the most exciting Baroque team at the moment” thanks to its lively, spirited music-making. In a concert entitled Tenore Assoluto, the ensemble and singer Michael Spyres present virtuoso tenor arias from hit operas by George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Adolph Hasse and others.

Michael Spyres tenor

Il pomo dʼoro

Francesco Corti direction and harpsichord

Tenore Assoluto

Works by George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Nicola Porpora, Domenico Sarro, Davide Perez and Johann Adolph Hasse

Dates and Tickets


Michael Spyres

“A tenor who has the world at his feet” (Opera Magazine). But moreover, as Michael Spyres can also sing effortlessly in the baritone register, he can claim the label developed in the late 19th century of the “baritenor”. Due to his exceptionally wide vocal range, there are hardly any limits to what he can do – no wonder that the singer, who trained in the USA and Vienna, has built up a large repertoire, from Handel and Rameau to Mozart, Bellini and into the 20th century, making a name for himself especially as a bel canto singer and in French roles. He views his current special position in the music business as follows: “Enrico Caruso established the current tenor type and in doing so marginalised everything else. Yet in all the centuries before that, many men sang both baritone and tenor roles. Many other singers before me had the same ability, it’s just that hardly anyone has done anything comparable in the last few decades.” The American-born singer first attracted international attention in 2008 in the title role of Rossini’s Otello at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad and as Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Today, Michael Spyres is a regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses as well as with the most renowned orchestras and ensembles, and sings under conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Fabio Luisi, Simone Young, Kirill Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Emmanuelle Haïm.

Il pomo d’oro

Sensational, dynamic and breathtaking: it is no coincidence that Il pomo d’oro (The Golden Apple), “one of the most brilliant ensembles on the Early Music scene” (BBC Music Magazine), named itself after the “festa teatrale” of the same name by the Italian Baroque composer Antonio Cesti. The opulent open-air spectacle of 1668 featured 300 horses and a pyrotechnic display of 73,000 fireworks. With 24 stage sets and around eight hours of performance time, this theatre festival eclipsed anything ever seen before. An opera superlative that the members of the Italian Original Sound ensemble, founded in 2012, are building on – at a “lightning pace” that does credit to their “reputation as perhaps the most exciting Baroque teams currently in existence” (Rondo). With programmes such as In War and Peace and Eden together with the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and Anima Aeterna with the countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński. Il pomo d’oro impresses audiences worldwide with its spirit and high standard of playing. Recordings by the formation have been awarded the Opus Klassik, the Italian Abbiato del Disco and the German Record Critics’ Prize. The harpsichordist Francesco Corti, born in Arezzo, Tuscany, acts both as a soloist and as leader of the ensemble. He has been principal guest conductor of Il pomo d’oro since 2018 and has led a European tour of George Frideric Handel’s opera Orlando, among other works.

Michael Spyres (photo: Marco Borelli)