La Scala’s series of chamber music ballets which started with Heinz Spoerli’s Cello Suites, followed by a new commission from Massimiliano Volpini of Il giardino degli amanti (The Lovers’ Garden) is continued with another new work, from Mauro Bigonzetti, called Progetto Händel. The cast will be led by La Scala favourites, Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle.
Bigonzetti’s passion for Handel will see him use the Suites to create a work infused with “the charm of the theatre, the imagination and the fantasy of the Baroque”. His previous works inspired by Handel’s music are InCanto and Come un respiro for Aterballetto, and Festa barocca for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Progetto Händel is divided in two parts: the first, using the Suites and a solo instrument, is more intimate; the second, with more instruments, becomes richer and multi-layered. This will also be reflected in the design, which sees a black and white first part, yet the second will be an explosion of colour. Bigonzetti will mirror this with an abstract beginning followed by a narrative conclusion. Sixteen dancers from the company will dance alongside the étoiles in the first part and fourteen in the second.
Handel is pure theatre… his music evokes images and opens doors. Even when he wasn’t writing for the theatre his music was visionary, descriptive, narrative even when it wasn’t telling a story, always searching for theatricality. It’s not by chance that you associate with him the use of stage machinery which is truly the symbol of the appeal and the magic of the Baroque theatre.
20, 21, 23 (2 perfs.) 24, 25, 26, 30 May; 1 June 2017
Music – George Frederick Handel
Choreography – Mauro Bigonzetti
Costumes – Helena de Medeiros
Lighting – Carlo Cerri
Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle
(20, 21, 23 eve, 24 May)
Tickets from €11 to €127
ScalAperta performance from €5.50 to €63.50
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.