Opera

Il
Palazzo
incantato

Rossi

03 – 06 October 2021

Enough of your tears and pleas
for tears and pleas are scattered by the wind.
IL PALAZZO INCANTATO

In the midst of preparing an opera, Poetry, Music and Painting expostulate over their merits. Magic appears and puts an end to their discord by embellishing the stage on which the performance will play out. So begins Luigi Rossi’s Il Palazzo incantato, a forgotten gem from the baroque repertoire, the score of which spent four centuries buried in the Vatican library until it was exhumed by Leonardo García Alarcón.

In the opening scene of Paolo Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), a tourist from a sightseeing bus stands at the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, sees Rome stretching out before him and faints. For the Argentinian conductor, it is that same overwhelming beauty which strikes us when we listen to Rossi, with the mathematical precision of his musical composition and the perfection of his harmonic structure. If opera was born in Florence, this composer was one of those who helped make Rome the new capital of the lyrical arts.

His Palazzo incantato recounts the tale of lovers imprisoned in the labyrinth of the sorcerer Atlante, who has the power to shape and reshape space at will. Among these young people is Ruggiero, the man whom the courageous Bradamante comes to help. Inspired by Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, the libretto criss-crosses the lives and destinies of the captives in the style of a choral film.

The plot narrative is the pretext to a monumental work—27 characters, 16 soloists, double and triple choruses with 6 and 12 voices not to mention several ballets—in the purest Roman tradition: unlike its Venetian counterpart, Roman opera revels in excess. The premiere of Rossi’s œuvre-monde lasted almost 7 hours and incorporated music, song, dance, theatre, and feasting. However, that particular Palazzo incantato would prove to be the last testament to those sumptuous celebrations: this was 1642 and Rome would soon fall under the austere control of Pope Innocent X. In a city about to be forced into mourning attire, the opera glittered in the limelight of its final splendour.

That hunger for life, that urgency to create is something Fabrice Murgia senses profoundly in Il Palazzo incantato: as if it were a question of recounting the world one last time. The Belgian director—who defines himself as a child of Brecht and Spielberg—excels in the art of live video which destabilises our perception of what is real. He sets his production in the venues of solitude of our contemporary mythology—an airport, a hospital, a hotel room, a waiting room—where the wandering souls in Atlante’s palace come to get lost. Working in close collaboration with Leonardo García Alarcón, he brings out the fragments of an opera that has withstood the test of time by releasing all of its dramatic power.

Il Palazzo incantato, azione in musica in three acts with prologue
First performed in Rome at the Palazzo Barberini, Via Quattro Fontane on February 22, 1642

New production Opéra national de Lorraine
Coproduction Opéra de Dijon
In partnership with the Chœur de Chambre de Namur 

Libretto
Giulio Rospigliosi (the future Pope Clement IX) based on Ariosto’s Orlando furioso

Music
Luigi Rossi

 

Conductor

Leonardo García Alarcón

Cappella Mediterranea

Chorus master

Anass Ismat

Voice coach

Jacopo Raffaele

Chorus of the Opéra de Dijon and the Chœur de chambre de Namur


Director

Fabrice Murgia

Sets

Vincent Lemaire

Costumes

Clara Peluffo Valentini

Video

Giacinto Caponio

Lighting design

Emily Brassier, Giacinto Caponio

Assistant director

Filippo Ferraresi

Assistant conductor

Rodrigo Calveyra, Fabián Schofrin

Cameramen

Johann Michalzcak, David Vong


Orlando

Victor Sicard

Angelica

Arianna Vendittelli

Ruggiero

Fabio Trümpy

Bradamante / La Peinture

Deanna Breiwick

Atlante

Mark Milhofer

Olympia / Music

Lucía Martín-Cartón

Marfisa / Magic / Doralice

Mariana Flores

Gigante / Sacripante / Gradasso

Grigory Soloviov

Prasildo / Le Dwarf

Kacper Szelążek

Alceste

André Lacerda

Ferrau / Astolfo

Valerio Contaldo

Fiordiligi / Poetry

Gwendoline Blondeel

Mandricardo

Alexander Miminoshvili

Dancers

Joy Alpuerto Ritter, Zora Snake

Calendar

  • Sun. 03 October 2021
    15:00
    Opéra national de Lorraine
  • Tue. 05 October 2021
    20:00
    Opéra national de Lorraine
  • Wed. 06 October 2021
    20:00
    Opéra national de Lorraine

The performance on Sunday 3 October at 3 p.m. offers a Sunday workshop.

Duration
3h45 with interval

Performed in italian with subtitles
Open to all aged 11 and above

Conference 
1 hour before the performance (free, on presentation of a performance ticket)

See also