Il prigioniero / Suor Angelica
Luigi Dallapiccola / Giacomo Puccini
22, 25 and 27 June and 1 and 4 July 2014
Prisoners of grief
Though the musical distance between Puccini and Dallapiccola may seem to make this double bill incongruous, in fact they share the same vision of the human grief caused by loss of freedom. Each features a prisoner: one is the captive of a political dictatorship, the other of ideological tyranny, but both are the victims of an obscurantism they cannot escape, even at the price of an illusory transfiguration. Both works also draw inspiration from the composer’s own family: Iginia, Puccini’s elder sister, took the veil at the Augustinian convent of Saint Nicholas, while Laura Coen, Dallapiccola’s wife, was a Jew in Mussolini’s Italy. Suor Angelica was the last Italian melodramma whereas the mother in the prologue to Il Prigioniero is the coryphaeus of the tragedy: Romanticism versus post-Cubist neoclassicism. But the grief is the same, the violation of feelings and rights is identical.
Il prigioniero. Opera comprising a prologue and one act. Libretto and music by Luigi Dallapiccola, based on La torture par l’espérance by Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam and La Légende d’Ulenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak by Charles de Coster. Premiered on 20 May 1950 at the Teatro Comunale in Florence. First performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Suor Angelica. Opera in one act. Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Music by Giacomo Puccini. Premiered on 14 December 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. First staged at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 21 December 1948. Most recent performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu: 10 November 1987.
Gran Teatre del Liceu / Teatro Real (Madrid)
Ievgueni Nikitin, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Robert Brubaker, Albert Casals and Toni Marsol.
Barbara Frittoli, Dolora Zajick, Gemma Coma-Alabert, Marina Rodríguez-Cusí, Itxaro Mentxaka, Auxiliadora Toledano, Anna Tobella, Sandra Ferrández, Inés Moraleda and others.
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Photos: Teatro Real / Javier del Real