The next 27 of July, the Teatro Real will culminate the current season with the premiere of Hadrian, Canadian-American singer-songwriter's second foray into opera Rufus Wainwright, which will be offered in a semi-staged version starring the baritone Thomas Hampson, who gave life to the emperor Hadrian in the world premiere of the work in Toronto in 2018.
Making use of a musical palette that the author himself defines as "darker and more powerful" than that of his first opera –First woman–, woven with long melodic lines mixed with rich orchestral textures,
Wainwright builds a truly gripping story.
The complex vocal framework will be defended by Thomas Hampson in the title role, Ainhoa Arteta (Plotina), Santiago Ballerini (Antinous), Rubén Amoretti (Turbo) Y Vanessa Goikoetxea (Sabina) among others. With them, he Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, under the musical direction of Scott Dunn.
The stunning images of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and direction of scene Jorn Weisbrodt, complete this interesting show.
Rufus Wainwright thus describes his choice of this historical character for his second opera: “When I first read the fabulous Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar, a novel that inspired at least three generations of gay men, I was instantly struck by the idea of transforming this historical theme into the form of an opera. Both its intimate nature and wild grandeur seemed perfectly suited to what opera does best.: create a hyper-enlightenment of the dark inner lives of people facing formidable outer circumstances and, at the same time, musically explore the surreal dimensions of what lies between them. In my opinion, no other theatrical form portrays
truly life in a myriad of bright vibrant colors just like the opera does, and the story of the Roman emperor Hadrian is a perfectly cut diamond for the task”.
The opera focuses on the emperor's true but troubled love for the beautiful young Antinous.. As the dark specter of monotheism approaches announced by the Jews and early Christians, until destroying the old pagan belief system. Historical research ensures that many parts of Hadrian's life and legacy were destroyed by his detractors and, although he was a productive and just ruler, his massacre of the jews cannot be forgotten, and it is a main point of the work.
A) Yes, Rufus Wainwright concluye: "Almost immediately after Hadrian's death, the patriarchal dictates of humanity took over the narrative, letting the pathetic old remark that “cried like a woman” when Antinous drowned, overshadowed all his achievements.".
Opera in four acts
Music of Rufus Wainwright (1973)
libretto Daniel Mcivor
With the special collaboration of the Mapplethorpe Foundation
Premiered at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto on 13 October 2018
Premiere at the Royal Theater
Opera in semi-staged concert version
Director Musical I Scott Dunn
Images I Robert Mapplethorpe
Stage-manager I Jorn Weisbrodt
lighting designer | John Torres
project designer | Michael Worthington
Project Designer Assistant | Cory Siefker
projection scheduler | James Poichter
Choir director I Andres Maspero
Hadrian | Thomas Hampson
Plotina | Ainhoa Arteta
Antinous | Santiago Ballerini
Turbo | Rubén Amoretti
Sabina | Vanessa Goikoetxea
Trajan | Alejandro del Cerro
Fabius | Stephen Vincent
Hermogenes | Gregory Dahl
First Senator | Pablo Garcia-Lopez
second senator | Josep Ramón Olivé
Third Senator | David Lagares
Street | Berna Beads
Dinarchus | Albert Casals
Photography © Javier de Real | Teatro Real