Personalities | Anna Maria Strada del Pò | Late Baroque | Opera
active 1719–40, Italian
The exceptional soprano Strada is known to have sung in Vivaldi’s La verità in cimento (‘The Truth Tested’, 1720) in Venice in 1721. Between 1724 and 1726 she sang for Vinci, Porpora and Leo at Naples, where she also married the theatre manager Aurelio del Pò. She arrived in London in 1729, where she was Handel’s prima donna in all his opera performances until 1737. Handel’s arias for Strada in Il partenope, Poro and Sosarme indicate a superbly talented singer who had a high range, remarkable agility and dramatic conviction. Strada was the only member of Handel’s company who did not defect to the ‘Opera of the Nobility’ in 1733, and was amply rewarded by the roles Ginevra, in Ariodante, and Alcina. She returned to Italy in 1738, and retired two years later.
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