Concert archive

28-01-17 - Who's wearing the trousers? - Diana Moore

Starting as we mean to go on; wonderful music and a fascinating subject introduced by a 'local girl' who has made it to the very top of her profession
Lowestoft-born mezzo-soprano, Diana Moore, is recognized internationally for her “emotional depth” (The Guardian), “thrilling technical bravura” (Gramophone) and “rich, evocative sound” (San Francisco Chronicle). The Times calls her, “a singer to cherish, with a genuine contralto tone not often heard outside the recordings of Ferrier and Janet Baker.”

This concert explored the remarkable lives and music written for Handel’s ‘travesti’, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos in a world where women performing in the public eye faced enormous scrutiny, condemnation and sometimes even imprisonment. Using contemporary journals, anecdotes and drawings, Diana Moore examined these unconventional women and how they survived in this profession, alongside performances of music composed specially for them by George Frederick Handel.

Read more about Diana Moore... here


Francesca Vanini-Boschi (c.1675 - 1744)
Jane Barbier (c.1690s - 1757)
Diana Vico (c. 1690 - ?)
Margherita Durastanti (c. 1680 - ?)
Francesca Bertolli (c. 1710 -1767)
Antonia Merighi (c. 1690 - 1764)
Caterina Negri (1704 - ?)
Susannah Cibber (nee Arne)(1714-1766)
Caterina Galli (c. 1723-1804)


EASTERN DAILY PRESS – Monday 30th January.

Norwich Baroque, Diana Moore.

Born in Lowestoft, the mezzo-soprano Diana Moore enjoys an international reputation in opera, oratorio, the concert hall and as a recitalist.

With Norwich Baroque, She performed “Who wears the trousers?” a study of the “travesti”, mezzos and contraltos who undertook male roles in Handel’s operas.

The real operatic stars of the 18th century were the castrati, castrated males with a woman’s vocal range but a man’s lung capacity, although possibly because of the enormous fee they commanded, Handel wrote many of his male roles for female voice.

Moore chose nine of these travesti, performing one, sometimes two, arias from operas in which they are known to have performed. She prefaced each with absorbing and brilliantly researched vignettes of their careers.

Her singing was superb. Moore perfectly characterised each aria, with a voice that has the richness of a contralto together with the lightness of a mezzo.

Jim O’Toole directed Norwich Baroque without a blemish.
Frank Cliff