“Tamerlano” and “Alcina”performed by the Belgian Opera company La Monnaie/De Munt available for view online until 10 March 2015

Tamerlano

Opera in tre atti HWV. 18 (1724)
George Frideric Handel
Libretto di Nicola Francesco Haym
Premiere King’s Theatre Haymarket, London, 31/10/1724
Full opera available for view online until 10 March 2015: http://www.lamonnaie.be/en/mymm/media/2236/Tamerlano%20-%20George%20Frideric%20Handel/
Tamerlano---George-Frideric-Handel

Tamerlano, inspired by the historical confrontation of 1402 between Sultan Bayezid I and Timur Lenk, tells the story of the clash of two strong personalities : Tamerlano as the victor, Bajazet as the loser who has no intention of grovelling humbly in the dust. Following the success of Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Handel completed his highly expressive Tamerlano after numerous revisions. The underlying tone of the work is serious ; the composer tried to give depth to the characterisation of the historical figures. The scene preceding the death of Bajazet – a major part which, exceptionally, was written for a tenor – is the climax of the opera. Tamerlano is to be performed in alternation with Alcina. Pierre Audi designed both productions for the splendid baroque theatre at Drottningholm in Sweden. Both sets, designed by Patrick Kinmonth, are based on the principles of perspective, with wings in the form of painted panels. Their vision of baroque opera is modern and pared-down, but does not lose sight of tradition ; this creates a fascinating tension.

tamerlano1 tamerlano2
New production

Production La Monnaie / De Munt, De Nationale Opera (Amsterdam)
Original producer Drottningholms Slottsteater (Stockholm)
With the support of SWIFT
Music direction ¦ Christophe Rousset
Director ¦ Pierre Audi
Set design & costumes ¦ Patrick Kinmonth
Lighting ¦ Matthew Richardson
Tamerlano ¦ Christophe Dumaux
Bajazete ¦ Jeremy Ovenden
Asteria ¦ Sophie Karthäuser
Andronico ¦ Delphine Galou
Irene ¦ Ann Hallenberg
Leone ¦ Nathan Berg
Zaide ¦ Caroline D’Haese
Orchestra ¦ Les Talens Lyriques

Alcina

Dramma per musica in tre atti, HWV. 34 (1735)
George Frideric Handel
Libretto anonimo, dall’Orlando furioso di Ariosto
Premiere Convent Garden, London, 16/4/1735
Full opera available for view online until 10 March 2015: http://www.lamonnaie.be/en/mymm/media/2235/Alcina%20-%20George%20Frideric%20Handel/

Alcina---George-Frideric-Handel

Like Handel’s Orlando (1732) and Ariodante (1734), Alcina derives from the narrative material in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso. The story of the sorceress Alcina, an initially hedonistic, manipulative woman who later finds herself a victim of love, fits into the genre of the ‘magical opera’ with numerous magical elements, but Handel achieved considerable emotional authenticity in his characterisations. This makes Alcina one of the most deeply felt and multifaceted operas. ‘You may despise what you like ; but you cannot contradict Handel,’ said the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. As in Tamerlano, Pierre Audi based this production on the stage at the baroque theatre at Drottningholm, for which he originally developed the directing concept. The set, designed by Patrick Kinmonth, is based on the principles of perspective, with wings in the form of painted panels. The result is marvellous modern musical theatre in a historizing frame.

alcina1 alcina2
New production

Production La Monnaie / De Munt, De Nationale Opera (Amsterdam)
Original producer Drottningholms Slottsteater (Stockholm)
With the support of SWIFT
Music direction ¦ Christophe Rousset
Director ¦ Pierre Audi
Set design & costumes ¦ Patrick Kinmonth
Lighting ¦ Matthew Richardson
Chorus direction ¦ Benoît Giaux
Alcina ¦ Sandrine Piau
Ruggiero ¦ Maite Beaumont
Bradamante ¦ Angélique Noldus
Morgana ¦ Sabina Puértolas
Oberto ¦ Chloé Briot
Oronte ¦ Daniel Behle
Melisso ¦ Giovanni Furlanetto
Astolfo ¦ Edouard Higuet
Orchestra ¦ Les Talens Lyriques
Chorus ¦ Choeur de Chambre de l’IMEP
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