Amore Uccellatore (Cupid the Birdcatcher) is an unpublished continuo cantata manuscript by Handel for solo alto in in the Fitzwilliam Museum, presenting a humorous and continuous narrative about a male bird being chased by Cupid and 5 female birdcatchers. This massive 10-aria cantata was most likely performed piecemeal serially, over a series of nights, either weekly at the Marquis Ruspoli’s conversazione or for as-yet-unidentified noblemen in Florence or Venice during Handel’s Italian sojourn (1706-1710). If this is the case, Dr. Zazzo asks, how do we ‘defragment’ this and other Handel cantatas to present them today sequentially on a CD or in a live performance?
Dr. Lawrence Zazzo is Head of Performance and Lecturer in Music at Newcastle University. An internationally-recognised countertenor, Dr. Zazzo continues to perform in concert halls and opera houses throughout the world while researching Baroque opera, historical performance practice, and opera libretto authorship.