Orlando Furioso Ragged at the Royal Theater

Orlando Furioso

He was arriving for the first time at Teatro Real Orlando Furioso, the work of Antonio Vivaldi based on the Italian libretto by Orazio Bracciolli, based in turn on the epic poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. A Drama for music in three acts. Orlando Furioso is one of the few works that have survived in full to more than 90 that Vivaldi composed. It is full of multiple plots that inspired many composers. Just a few years later, Handel composed Orlando (1733) and Alzina (1735), independent works about its main protagonists.

The Royal Theater has scheduled a single function, concert version, somewhat decaffeinated, because the choral parts had been suppressed, leaving only two pieces performed by all its protagonists.

The voices had an uneven performance. Much more was expected, especially the Croatian countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic in the title role of Orlando. Skillfully master agility and recitative, but we liked it more on other occasions when it showed a more refined singing line and a more homogeneous timbre. His interventions of the last act were somewhat exaggerated in the interpretation.

The Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva was the most applauded by the public in her role as Angelica. With a pleasant timbre and balanced voice, he showed off with the agility, especially in the famous aria Moved by the wind.

The Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donnose as Alzina also had a remarkable performance, with well defined bass tones. The young English alto Jess Dandy, in the role of Bradamante, had serious trouble controlling your instrument, so much, that he did not get it.

Russian bass Pavel Kudinov, como Astolfo, had a discreet but effective and sufficient performance. The Canadian countertenor of Korean origin David dq lee had a hopeful first intervention, but it went from more to less and went through difficulties in his last interventions. The shortlist of countertenors was completed with the German Philipp Mathmann. Has a clean and clear timbre, but of a poor and inconsistent emission, but with a lot of room for improvement, given his youth.

The dormitory Harmony Athena, with its director George Petrou in front, offered a tight but not colorful version. It was biting at times. The lack of metals was not well understood. Petrou accompanied some of the recitatives on the keyboard of a second key.

In any case, it is appreciated having been able to listen, for the first time in this theater, a work like Orlando Furioso, important and influential from its composition.

Photograph © Javier del Real