La Scala's Baroque Orchestra returns, after last year's successful Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, for a new production of Handel's Tamerlano, again conducted by Diego Fasolis.
An impressive cast features Bejun Mehta as Tamerlano, Plácido Domingo as Bajazet, Marianne Crebassa as Irene, Franco Fagioli as Andronico, and Maria Grazia Schiavo as Asteria. It also marks the La Scala debut of Italian director, Davide Livermore.
A seven-performance run, through until 4 October, starts tonight, 12 September.
Tamerlano was written for the Royal Academy of Music in 1724 and first performed at the King's Theatre, London, on 31 October 1724.
Davide Livermore, who is the Artistic Director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, has set the story in October 1917, linking the historical upheavals in the 14th century of the Ottoman Empire with the Bolsheviks' October Revolution.
What you will see has as its artistic inspiration the work of a man who with his sublime art told the story of the 1917 Revolution a century ago: Sergei Eisenstein.
The cinematic aesthetics of the Russian master has helped me along this voyage in the 18th century, not only for the visual aspect of the production, but also the musical aspect and the acting in general.
Tamerlano, as with all Opera Seria, has its emotional power cemented in concepts such as reiteration and variation, which are elements visually close to Eisenstein's cinematic language. His editing stylised emotions, which is analogous with opera in the 1700s.
12, 19, 22, 25, 27, 30 September; 4 October 2017
George Frideric Handel
1st performance in London, King's Theatre Haymarket, 31 October 1724
Conductor DIEGO FASOLIS
Director DAVIDE LIVERMORE
Sets DAVIDE LIVERMORE and GIÒ FORMA
Costumes MARIANA FRACASSO
Tamerlano – Bejun Mehta
Bajazet – Plácido Domingo (12, 19, 22, 25, 27 September); Kresimir Spicer (30 September; 4 October)
Asteria – Maria Grazia Schiavo
Andronico – Franco Fagioli
Irene – Marianne Crebassa
Leone – Christian Senn
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.