This production of Francesco Cavalli’s Il Giasone was filmed in January 2017 at the Grand Théâtre of Geneva. It forms a part of the ‘Cavalli tetralogy’ of the past few years, conducted by the man who has become Cavalli’s great ambassador: Leonardo Garcia Alarcón. Il Giasone, Dramma musicale, in a Prologue and Three Acts, first performed on 5 January 1649, alternates the tragic with the comic, with no concern for fidelity to the mythological legend of Jason and Medea. Francesco Cavalli’s opera, composed for the carnival season in Venice, presents a mosaic of contrasted episodes, rich in musical emotions. His music here attains a remarkable degree of evocative power, with la musica having the upper hand over la dramma. IlRead more Giasone represents the subtle equilibrium between lyricism and narrative. The comic, the tragic, and the supernatural all meet and mingle, and Cavalli’s Lamenti – forming the climax of the work – are particularly unequalled,. Resolutely burlesque and zany, Serena Singaglia’s production celebrates the opera’s sensuality. Le Temps commented: ‘In the pit, the Cappella Mediterranea with Garcia Alarcón pursue a sense of musical flux with delicacy, lightness and quick-footedness, ideally responding to the score’s demands. With an instrumental sound that is both round and sprightly, they succeed in capturing the ludic dimension of the work, its melodic freshness, and its harmonic tensions. Drama and rapture are artfully fused together.”
The top-notch cast really savor the score’s lyricism, balancing all the cross-dressing camp with something disarmingly heartfelt. Dominique Visse is an irrepressible Delfa, taking ‘her’ pleasure wherever possible, and there are fine cameos from the veteran tenor Raúl Giménez as the cuckolded Egeo (cruelly styled as Peter Ustinov’s Poirot in Death on the Nile), Willard White’s Oreste and Migran Agadzhanyan as a nervily energetic Demo.