Presentation of the rare or lost opera masterpieces performed by major stars specialising in early music.
Opera Rara lists Kraków among the cities that host ambitious productions, and stages splendid performances at the most important operatic theatres and festivals in Italy, France, the UK and Germany.
Reconstructions of the operatic canon from the 17th and 18th centuries, rare or lost operas performed by major stars – groups, soloists and conductors specialising in early music masterpieces – form a major part of the productions.
The Festival is attracting huge interest. It is an example of how such an exclusive event can reach out into the wider city space, arouse interest from the broader public, and in effect become an integral element of cultural life. As such it contributes to the development of society and municipal policies of cultural growth, and co-creates a welcoming environment for the inhabitants, tourists, businesses.
Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble will present George Frideric Handel’s Alcina.
Alcina – was Handel’s first opera after Ariodante, written for the audience at Covent Garden. The libretto combines several literary sources – it was adapted by an unknown author from a libretto by Antonio Fanzaglia entitled L’Isola d’Alcina, written for Riccardo Broschi (brother of Farinelli); the source material is Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, used by composers in several operas. Alcina is one of a few of Handel’s operas that need not be advertised. Built around a scenario more intricate the simple plot of Ariodante, Handel brings to live a fantasy world, the brave and throbbing heart of which pulses with deep emotion. It varies from Handel’s other operas in that it makes use of a real choir, rather than a set of soloists. For the first time since Rinaldo, Theseus, and Amadis did Handel go to work in the service of the “sorceress in love”. He created an extraordinary, enchanted world, in which curses of love dominate, and magic pulls the strings of the lovers’ emotions. Elaborate, sensuous arias (including Di, cor mio) alternate with stormy accusations (Ah! mio cor) and arias that lay bare the passionate hearts and fiery tempers of the heroes (Ama, sospira; Credete). Its premiere in 1735 marked the beginning of the great career of a new work of opera, which was to be performed 18 times before the end of the season. After its resumption in Brunswick (1738), Alcina disappeared from the opera repertory for two centuries, to return to the stage in Leipzig, in the 1930s. From that time it has featured on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses.
Inga Kalna (soprano) - Alcina
Veronica Cangemi (soprano) - Morgana
Ann Hallenberg (alto) - Ruggiero
Romina Basso (alto) - Bradamante
Jolanta Kowalska (soprano) - Oberto
Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (tenor) - Oronte
Luca Tittoto (bass) - Melisso
Capella Cracoviensis Vocal Ensemble
Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble
Marc Minkowski – conductor
Project is realized within the Cultural Programme of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011.