Skin-tight rubber and lacrosse sticks bring contemporary chic to this timeless fantasy of warriors and witches in Robert Carsen's fun-filled transformation of Handel's first London triumph. Conducting from the keyboard just as Handel himself did, Ottavio Dantone leads a youthful cast of today's luminaries in the dramatic art of Baroque opera, the 'affecting' Sonia Prina, the 'unadorned intensity' of Anett Fritsch and 'fire-breathing flair' (The Observer) of Brenda Rae.
Glyndebourne continues to celebrate the genius of Handel with its first staging of Rinaldo, the work with which he made his sensational London debut – and the first Italian opera specifically created for the British stage.
Rinaldo is given a contemporary new twist through the eyes of Director Robert Carsen, who made his Festival debut with L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2008.
Early music specialist Ottavio Dantone, Music Director of the acclaimed Italian period ensemble Accademia Bizantina conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
The cast is headed by Sonia Prina in the title-role of the heroic crusader, with Anett Fritsch as his beloved Almirena, Brenda Rae as the seductive Saracen sorceress Armida, and Luca Pisaroni (last summer’s Leporello) as her duplicitous ally Argante, the King of Jerusalem.
Running time: 190 minutes
Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
“Despite major reservations about the concept, it's impossible to deny the effectiveness of the staging...All the individual performances are well-acted...Vocally, too, there are some impressive offerings...Dantone conducts a strongly characterised performance founded on the alert playing of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.”
“it is the sorceress and her lover, the Saracen king Argante, who steal the show. Oozing malign sexuality, the vocally fiery Brenda Rae becomes a movingly vulnerable figure in her anguished aria after she has been rejected...If you suspect that Carsen's wacky take on Handel's heroic magic opera is for you, be assured that the OAE play with style and élan under Ottavio Dantone's energising direction.”
“What is here is some exhilarating music-making, both vocal and instrumental. Ottavio Dantone leads an orchestral with a spring in its step and some fine playing...[Argante] is splendidly taken by Luca Pisaroni, one of the best bass-baritones in Baroque opera...[Frisch] brings a touch of determination to overcome the anguish in 'Lascia ch'io pianga' while retaining a lucent tone.”
3rd August 2012
“none can top the presence and authority of Luca Pisaroni’s Saracan [sic] king Argante. Directing from his tinkling harpsichord, Ottavio Dantone encourages the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to be light, bright and Italian. Listen wholeheartedly; watch with caution.”
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