THE BEGINNING OF THE OPERA RARA 2016 SERIES IN ICE KRAKÓW – PIRAMO E TISBE
A favourite of Krakow audiences, renowned violinist and conductor Fabio Biondi, will return to the City of Kings with his Europa Galante ensemble and wonderful soloists. Together, the artists will present one of the greatest musical accomplishments of Johann Adolf Hasse, the two-act opera Piramo e Tisbe. We invite you to join us for this special evening at 8:00 PM on the 28thof January, at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre.
In 1768, Hasse was at the height of his fame, the string of successes on the stages of Dresden, Vienna and Venice having brought him the status as the most outstanding opera creator of the time. With over seventy works to his name, he could afford a certain amount of extravagance – he wrote thoroughly modern music, leaning rather towards the accomplishments of Gluck rather than based on proven Handel patterns. Composed on commission by a (most likely French) anonymous aristocrat, the intermezzo tragico, as Hasse himself called his opera, turned out to be the second last opera of the German’s life.
The libretto of Piramo e Tisbe, inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was written by Marco Coltellini, a singer and imperial poet, who succeeded Pietro Metastasio himself at the Viennese court. The story of the unlucky lovers, whose quarrelling families, like the Capulets and the Montagues, stand in the way of their love, had inspired artists for a long time. The most famous, although comical, adaptation is a scene in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The bar had been set high for Coltellini and Hasse – they not only had to contend with the great playwright, but also show the tragic depth of the story. The men did not cease in their efforts to make the story of Piramo and Tisbe, driven to suicide as a result of a misunderstanding, filled with sadness. The librettist did so with the aid of the character of the strict Father, the despair of the daughter whose lover dies in her arms, and finally with the suicide of the remorse-torn parent that completes the tragedy. The composer dressed the series of unfortunate events in the robes of moody recitatives and dramatic arias and duets, not sparing suggestive musical means appropriate to the times. Subtle colours, fantastic orchestration – richer than in previous operas and at the same time allowing for greater possibilities of expression and finally a concise and swiftly-moving form driven by dynamic vocals – all of this makes up the excellence of the second-last opera by Johann Adolf Hasse, an opera that the composer himself called “one of the greatest things he accomplished in his life”.
Piramo e Tisbe, this “greatest thing” of Hasse’s, will be performed in Krakow by the Europa Galante ensemble, led by concertmaster Fabio Biondi. The energetic formation is known for their pioneering interpretations of Baroque operas and instrumental works, especially of the Italian violin literature, which set new performance horizons. The quality of the instrumentalists will be matched by the soloists – mezzosoprano Vivica Genaux, gifted with an uncommon timbre and phenomenal technique, will perform the part of Piramo. Appearing on the ICE Kraków Congress Centre stage will be Desirée Rancatore (soprano) as Tisbe and Emanuele D’Auguanno (tenor) as the Father.
Tickets for the concert will be available for purchase starting on the 7th of January, through eventim.pl and in four InfoKraków city information points: at Św. Jana 2, at the Wyspiański Pavillion (Wszystkich Świętych 2), at the Cloth Hall (Market Square 1/3) and at the Tourist Service Centre (Powiśle 11). The cost is between 40 and 120 PLN.