Early Music America
By Judith Malafronte
“We played through the score together and we just clicked,” says Laura Hamilton, principal associate concertmaster of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She was talking about a recent powwow with Baroque violinist Robert Mealy as she prepared for the Met’s spring 2013 run of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. It was to be conducted by British early music specialist Harry Bicket, and a colleague had recommended a coaching session with Mealy.
“It was great fun,” Mealy recalls. “Laura was so quick, so responsive, it was a blast.” The expressive physicality of Mealy’s music-making is well-known, and it’s easy to imagine his charismatic communication as the two played through the violin parts to Sextus’s furious aria “Svegliatevi nel core,” Caesar’s seductive “Non è si vago e bello,” Cleopatra’s tragic lament, “Se pietà di me non senti,” and the buoyant, triumphant “Da tempeste.” MORE