Rodelinda, the magic of the Baroque


Rodelinda, one of the most beautiful operas of Händel first came to Real in what is now the season of big releases.

The London 1725 It is the most cosmopolitan city in Europe. With more than one million inhabitants and outside the conflicts that occur in the continent, enjoys a remarkable artistic activity. Händel, the greatest exponent of Italian opera in London, not only works as a composer, but also as an entrepreneur, directed at those moments the Royal Academy of Music, company dedicated to operatic activities. Years 1724 Y 25 They were the most creative activity of the composer. During these two years and at full speed, He composed three major works, Julius Caesar, Tamerlano y Rodelinda. He had to do with the virtuosity of the best singers of the time.

The main character of Rodelinda, Bertarino, She was played by the most famous castrati of the moment, Senesino. Rodelinda commissioned the great diva Francesca Cuzzioni, not very graceful and terrible actress, but with a voice and magnetism on stage that mesmerized the public. Francesco Borosino was also considered the most important tenor of the moment, He was responsible for giving life to Grimoald. It was not unusual to find tenors in the compositions of the time, and less on paperwork so extensive, but Borosino had triumphed with Tamerlano and Handel composed for him an important role.

Despite being a masterpiece, Rodelinda had a modest success at its premiere and just a few times recovered more. The difficulty of finding tenors of importance can be one of the reasons for his few performances at that time. Nowadays, Baroque seems that resists part of the standard repertoire. This may be due to the long duration of these works, since in the seventeenth and eighteenth century music was a complement to public recreational activities developed in the theaters, and "fear" of some managers scene arias and recitatives those dacappo, that put in difficulty the pace of construction. The fact is that Rodelinda has survived to this day remains a great unknown.

To remedy this absence has presented a new production of Teatro Real, in co-production with Opera Frankfurt, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Opéra de Lyon. Under the stage direction of Claus Guth, that following its architectural style, which already he gave a good account its extraordinary Parsifal, He has recreated, by the set designer Christian Schmidt, a palatial home inspired by the period in which Handel lived in London.

To unravel the complex web of Rodelinda, by the opening and by way of introduction, Guth uses a small genealogy and a silent slow-motion scene gives us enough background. The large revolving house, divided into rooms that lead to various stairs, It is the best scenario to represent the family intrigues.

Guth's approach to boost knows all important elements of the work. It provides different dimensions to dacappo ary and uses parallel action to break the static Repeats. It is here that becomes very important one of the main characters, curiously, not sing. It is the small Flavio, son of Rodelinda and Bertardio, Colombian actor who plays Fabian Augusto Gomez. It was providing the keys to work with his magnificent performance. Flavio live with all family drama intrigues and reflected through his drawings, which they are projected on stage. Live a parallel reality, only he sees, and that torments.

Ivor Bolton, still savoring the success of Billy Budd, It has reduced the size of the orchestra and has incorporated period instruments, as chitarrón at the hands of Michael Freimuth, the flute or fallopian. Very important to involve the harpsichordist David Bates, whose connection to Bolton, also the key, It was clear and full of energy. The orchestra was less to more and achieved some brilliant moments. Always outstanding singers, Bolton takes a very accurate reading score.

The protagonists of the baroque works have very different roles to those of nineteenth-century Italian opera. Rodelinda is a strong woman and heroic that has nothing to do with the delicate Italian star. The male star here is the counter, much more subtle than the gallant nineteenth. Conversely, the tenor, protagonist in Italian opera, in the Baroque is secondary.

This second cast, very Spanish, He has defended the work splendidly. Xavier Sabata, as Bertarido, perfectly fulfilled the role. But at some point it had to compete with the volume of the orchestra, his performance was inspired, especially in an emotional With rauco mormorio.

The soprano Sabina Puértolas played a brave and full sensitivity Rodelinda. It has a beautiful timbre, comprehensive and consistent fluids and sharp grew up with it as it advanced the work center. He used elegantly coloratura, for having a great facility. Out of Shadows, pianre, urne funeste and expensive mio bene were full of intent and delicacy.

The Grimoald evil has been interpreted by tenor Juan Sancho. His timbre is polished and sunny. Dramatization very well in creating a twisted and superficial at first and noblest Grimoald when he was disarmed by events. It misses a more voluminous voice. He shined in the arias of the third act.

Lidia Vinyes Curtis surprised by his fabulous stage presence. He recreated a frivolous and cunning as befits the character Eduige. It has good volume and voice recording changes with ease. Very good Real to bet on new voices have a very interesting projection Theater.

The Ununlfo countertenor Christopher Ainslie South African began unsafe but was settled to reach a good level, both the volume and quality of interpretation.

Garibaldo was played by the Spanish baritone José Antonio López. His performance was convincing and proper timbre, but the volume was excessive moments and unsophisticated.

No doubt this Rodelinda has been more successful this season, what should be an incentive to schedule more baroque works (We will not consider the past seasons Alcina). Three hours in this case have known a little.
Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real
Videos: Teatro Real

Opera in three acts
Música de Georg Handel Frirdrich
Libreto of Nicola Haym Fracesco, libretto adapted Rodelinda, regina'Longobards Pierre Corneille.
First performed at the King's Theater in London, he 13 February 1725
Premiere at the Royal Theater
Director musical: Ivor Bolton
Stage-manager: Claus Guth
Escenógrafo y costume: Christian Schmidt
illuminator: Joachim Klein
Video-Maker: Andi A Müller
Playwright: Konrad Kuhn
clavecinista: David Bates
Organist: Bernard Robertson
Chitarrón: Michael Freimuth
Distribution: Xavier Sabata, Sabina Puértolas, Juan Sancho, Curtis-Lídia Vinyes, Christopher Ainslie, José Antonio López, Fabián Gómez Augusto
Head of the Royal Theatre Orchestra

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