THE CROWN: Heroic Arias for Senesino

with Laurence Cummings conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Randall’s Debut Solo Album

The legacy of the celebrity castrato Senesino has endured for centuries. He is known to us today primarily as Handel’s leading man for 13 seasons in London, and he was recognised the world over for his moving dramatic interpretations, fiery singing, and singular, over-the-top divo personality. Yet, Handel’s music for Senesino only shows us a fraction of the numerous virtuosic roles written for the castrato. Here, for the first time, are arias by seven overlooked composers who also wrote showpieces for the (in)famous Senesino.  All but one of the arias on this album are modern-day premieres and heard together, they illuminate the talents of an 18th-century operatic icon.  Each of the composers on this album was a genuine musical talent, greatly admired for the refinement and skill of their compositions, but they are almost entirely forgotten today.  I can think of no better group of colleagues than Laurence Cummings and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with which to perform this music after it has spent nearly 300 years in the shadows.

Why ‘The Crown’, you may wonder? Nearly every aria on this album was composed for a regal character: impassioned kings, noble heroes on the battlefield, royal lovers, and renowned conquerors. These were the roles that Senesino loved to portray on stage, perceiving a reflection of himself in their valiant power. The impression that remains after hearing this array of remarkable music is that Senesino was a truly robust and versatile singer whose abilities and range far exceeded what we have known… until now.

Concept behind the album

Recording ‘Fra l’orror d’atra foresta’

Album Tracklist

GIAJ  Eumene, Act II: Ricordati che offesa (Eumene)
ARIOSTI  Vespasiano, Act I: Lasso! Ch’io t’ho perduta (Tito)
ORLANDINI  Olimpiade, Act II: Se cerca, se dice (Megacle)
ARIOSTI  Coriolano: March of the Dead
ORLANDINI  Adelaide, Act III: Adelaide, a te vengo (Ottone)
ORLANDINI  Adelaide, Act III: Vedrò più liete e belle (Ottone)
RISTORI  Adriano in Siria, Act III: Di vassallo, e d’amante (Farnaspe)
RISTORI  Adriano in Siria, Act III: Son sventurato (Farnaspe)
BONONCINI  Griselda, Act II: Dolce sogno (Gualtiero)

10  GIAJ  Eumene, Act II: Sì, tu trovasti (Eumene)
11  GIAJ  Eumene, Act II: Fra l’orror d’atra foresta (Eumene)
12  ORLANDINI  Adelaide, Act II: Con due pegni (Ottone)
13  ORLANDINI  Adelaide, Act II: Non disperi peregrino (Ottone)
14  GIACOMELLI  Demetrio, Act II: Non so frenar il pianto (Demetrio)
15  BONONCINI  Griselda, Act I: Affetto gioia (Gualtiero)
16  ORLANDINI  Adelaide, Minuet (Sinfonia to Adelaide)
17  ARIOSTI  Coriolano, Act II: So che guarda (Coriolano)
18  LOTTI  Ascanio, Act II: Non può quest’alma in sen (Ascanio)






Randall performs the role of Teseo on this live DVD recording of Ercole su’l Termodonte by Antonio Vivaldi performed at Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto.  Recorded with il Complesso Barocco, conducted by Alan Curtis at the Festival dei due Mondi, Italy.


Randall sings the title role of Stefano on this studio recording of the Oratorio di Santo Stefano Primo Re dell’Ungheria by Antonio Caldara.  Recorded with the Savaria Baroque Orchestra in Budapest, Hungary, released on Hungaroton in 2011.


Randall sings as the alto soloist on this studio recording of The Metamorphoses by British-American composer Paul Crabtree.  Recorded at Church of the Epiphany in New York City with the Cantori New York Chorus, conducted by Mark Shapiro.