Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

'La Calisto': when the opera was sexy | Culture

'La Calisto': when the opera was sexy | Culture

Venice almost always distrusted Rome. Reasons were not lacking before the mark that the Church exercised over her. For the Vatican, the city of the canals represented the most disparate incarnation of Sodom. Its authorities were excommunicated by the dictatorship of Pope Paul V in 1606, another reason for the Venetians to sharpen their claws for decades and revolt with the artillery they dominated best: the theater.

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Nobody doubts today that in the spirit of Francesco Cavalli he was skinning Rome and the absolute corruption of his eminences when he composed and premiered The Callisto in 1651. The public of Royal Theatre You can check it for the first time in its history when this wild and beautiful piece premieres on the 17th. It will be Ivor Bolton at the head of the Baroque Orchestra of Seville for a montage of David Alden.

By the way, many will discover the iconoclastic talent of Cavalli himself. "Everyone knows the father of the opera, Claudio Monteverdi," says Bolton. "But Cavalli is one of the composers who dominated public opera, a giant of his time, much less represented," says the director. Of the more than 40 operas he composed, 27 are preserved and this is the first one that arrives at Real.

"Everyone knows the father of the opera, Claudio Monteverdi," says Bolton. "But Cavalli is one of the composers that dominated the public opera, a giant of his time, much less represented."

It was someone who contributed to put the pillars of a rising art. "The first 50 or 60 years of this genre are the ones I like the most," says David Alden. "Then there were some other exceptions, like Verdi or Wagner ..., which were not bad either," says the person in charge of the scene.

Then he argues: "The freedom was absolute, they used the best librettists and musicians of quality to set a round show, a huge combination very sexy. Later, with all logic, this art was subordinated to the voice and lost grace. But at the beginning it was a whole from which we can now extract enough freedom to improvise. "

Alden has a definition for The Callisto: "It's a farce between sexual and celestial." And for the passages in which within this game of contrasts the nymphs dizzy to the gods who want to take advantage of them, the person in charge of editing expresses his own vision: "It's as if Donald Trump disguised himself as his daughter Ivanka to flirt".

The Callisto will be on the line until March 26 and there will be nine performances. Louise Alder, Luca Tittoto, Monica Bacelli or Xavier Sabata head the deals. The score has been recovered by the musicologist Álvaro Torrente, director of the Complutense Institute of Musical Sciences. His version is of absolute reference at present and Bolton already used it when in 2009 the opera was premiered in Munich.

It will surprise, above all, by a stark language and a treatment devoid of prejudices, very critical, ensures Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Real. A whole dart poisoned against exploitation and abuse. "The well-known story of the powerful who take advantage of poverty when it's beautiful," says Alden.


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