Orlando Furioso, Vivaldi, for the first time at the Royal Theater

Orlando Furioso

The next 17 June the stage of the Royal Theater will be filled with the music of one of the jewels of the Baroque, Orlando Furioso, by Antonio Vivaldi. Performed by the formation Harmony Athena, under the direction of the great specialist in the repertoire, George Petrou, has a cast of great voices led by the countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic in the title role.

The soprano completes the cast Julia Lezhneva (Angelica), mezzosoprano Ruxandra Donose (Alcina), the contralto Jess Dandy (Bradamante), countertenor Philipp Mathmann (Medoro) Y David D.Q. Lee (Ruggiero) and the bass baritone Pavel Kudinov (Astolfo).

Orlando Furioso is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi, with Italian libreto by Grazio Braccioli, based on the epic poem Orlando Furioso of Ludovico Ariosto. The play tells the story of Orlando, a noble knight brave and in love, although unrequited, trapped on the island of the beautiful sorceress Alcina. The scene, woven with love triangles, tangles and magic, combines various arguments from the original work and composes a love story, jealousy and madness.

The chivalric epic poem written by Ariosto in 1532 contains several main characters, even though only one gives it a name, and has inspired numerous authors, from Lully to Haydn. Years after the premiere of this Vivaldi, would see the light two of the best known titles of Händel: Alcina (1735) Y Orlando (1733).

The first performance of the title took place in Venice, at the Sant’Angelo Theater, in 1727, and it is one of the few that remain from the prolific creation of the Venetian composer. His demanding vocal writing - loaded with arias and recitatives as beautiful as they are difficult-, its complex plot –which makes the characters evolve in their dramatic color- and the extent of the work, requires a set of world-class voices, like the one that now meets at the Teatro Real.

Harmony Athena is a project of the Camerata de Atenas, founded in 1991 at the inauguration of the Megaron concert hall in Athens, where it has its headquarters since then. In autumn 2009, started a regular collaboration with the conductor George Petrou, interpreting with period instruments a wide repertoire that goes from baroque to classicism. In addition to his usual activities with period instruments, the orchestra maintains various projects in the field of opera and contemporary music.

Petrou He is considered one of the world's leading Baroque specialists, but nevertheless, his musical activity is very wide, and includes 20th century and contemporary music.

Photography design © Pep Carrió