Last spring, I noted a performance of Charpentier's Louise at Spoleto featured the setting of the title character's battle between her parents and the artisan crowd was too reminiscent of the battles of this country we were facing at the time (and still are facing). Last fall, I had the opportunity to sing a Händel work with a fellow voice student's choral group (she was a student along with me in 2003-04; we were adult students; the voice teacher noted I was a Baroque-style tenor) in singing a signature work from the legendary composer. Both themes fit with this Opera Wednesday selection.
In Händel's Scipione, "Scoglio d'immota fronte" is the signature aria of Berenice at the end of Act Two, where she compares herself to a rock and faces the raging elements with assurance. With the news everywhere about conservatives revolting against the "raging element" of an onerous government, I find it comforting to see so many Tea Party activists and like-minded people opposing this conversion to the USSR to be like Berenice, facing the raging elements of crazy activists with assurance of victory. The music and the soprano's voice both have to show how rough and tough she is, and how she can fight the elements. As I noted opera can be a metaphor to our society in the past, Berenice's voice and the instruments can symbolise this battle.
It's very unfortunate that we haven't found a video of this song in its opera setting considering I have embraced since hearing a recording of it years ago and enjoy this song, in a concert setting in Mantua's Bibena Theatre with Roberta Invernizzi as soprano, and Giulio Prandi conducting this orchestra of an opera aria that symbolises that we are indeed fighting the elements of the enemy. ◙