Considered today’s leading performance expert of the music of Alessandro Stradella, Andrea De Carlo was born in Rome where he began his musical career as a jazz bass player. In tandem with his studies on the double bass, he graduated from the University “La Sapienza” in Rome with a degree in physics . Following his studies at the university, he performed as principal double bassist with the Orchestra Teatro Massimo di Palermo, the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, and the Orchestra Regionale del Lazio.
His introduction to the viola da gamba, was serendipitous and became all encompassing to the extent that he abandoned the bass to study viol with Paolo Pandolfo, virtuoso performer and professor of viola da gamba at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Andrea has performed in Italy and internationally with important early music ensembles including Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), the consort of viols Labyrinto (Paolo Pandolfo), Concerto Italiano (Rinaldo Alessandrini), La grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roi (J.C. Malgoire), and appears in over forty recordings with these groups.
In 2005, De Carlo founded Ensemble Mare Nostrum, which began its life as a consort of viols, but shortly thereafter expanded to explore a wider and more diverse repertoire. Today performances consist primarily of music of the Roman Baroque, particularly the vocal music of Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682). Working with primary sources and studying the vocal technique of earlier centuries, De Carlo has uncovered a relationship between language, affetti, and the nature of sound that provides a new perspective on the aesthetic of seventeenth-century vocal music.
Mare Nostrum’s recordings include: J.S. Bach, Orgelbüchlein (MA Recordings) in an original orchestration that was applauded in the “Diapason” (May 2011); Le Concert des Violes (Ricercar) awarded 5 Diapason (January 2010) and Coup de coeur in 2010 by the Charles Cros Academy in Paris; and Nueva España (Alpha, 2012), an anthology of Spanish and Mexican music from the Renaissance to modern times.
The ensemble’s recordings from 2012 onward are of Roman music. In collaboration with the vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, they released a CD, Il Concerto delle Viole Barberini (Ricercar), followed by Occhi belli, occhi neri, a disc of recently discovered cantatas by Marco Marazzoli (Arcana).
In 2013, De Carlo directed the ensemble in the first recording of “The Stradella Project,” a CD collection for the label Arcana. Subsequent recordings are produced at the conclusion of the International Festival Alessandro Stradella, which takes place in Nepi and Viterbo every September.
The first release in 2013, was the world premiere of Stradella’s serenade, “La forza delle stelle,” (5 Diapason); followed in 2014 by the world premiere recording of the oratorio “S. Giovanni Crisostomo” (5 Diapason); in 2016 the world premiere of the oratorio “S. Editta, vergine e monaca, regina d’Inghiliterra,” (5 Diapason), in 2017, the oratorio “S. Pelagia,” (5 Diapason) and in 2018, the opera by Stradella, “La Doriclea” with the ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, for which Andrea De Carlo, as director, was awarded the prestigious Preis der deutschen Schallplatten Kritik. The recording has received overwhelming critical acclaim, and was recognized as Album of the Month, May 2019 by “Classic Voice.” In 2020 he released the opera buffa “Il Trespolo tutore”, and in 2022 the recently discovered opera by Stradella “Amare e Fingere” .
In 2018 De Carlo conducted the Philarmonic Orchestra Arturo Toscanini of Parma with a program dedicated to G. F. Haendel and J. P. Rameau; in 2020 he started a collaboration with the Theater Carlo Felice of Genova conducing the opening of the opera season 2020/21 with the opera Il Trespolo Tutore by A. Stradella with the direction of Paolo Gavazzeni and Piero Maranghi, scenes by Leila Fteita and costumes by Nicoletta Ceccolini, followed in 2021 by the oratorio S. G. Battista by A. Stradella with his Ensemble Mare Nostrum and the orchestra of the theatre. In March and May 2022 he conducted the orchestra of the Carlo Felice Theater for two concerts of series “Mozart l’italiano” with a program with instrumental music by A. Stradella, A. Scaratti and two symphonies by W. A. Mozart.