The life of Stradella, murdered on a Genoese piazza at the age of forty-two on the orders of a jealous rival in love, has achieved mythical status and inspired several novels and operas featuring Stradella the adventurer, the rebel and above all Stradella the Don Juan, whose amorous escapades, from abducting a novice from a convent in Florence to a flight across Italy with the high-born fiancée of a senator, were never a hindrance to his flourishing musical career.

It is easy to imagine that Stradella’s hectic life provided the inspiration for the captivating female figures who abound in his output, exalted by technically redoubtable vocal writing, as exuberant and virtuosic as it can sometimes be sober and ethereal, and supported by remarkably skilled recitatives, a genuine verbal theatre that offers the singer infinite scope for expression. From the demonic Salome to Ariadne, the model wife turned into a Fury by despair; from Pelagia, the repentant sinner who ends her days living in a cave disguised as a man, to Susanna, the very image of innocence and purity, this programme presents a series of portraits of women whom Chantal Santon embodies in their turn with all her artistry, her intimate knowledge of this repertory and her sense of theatre.