Philippe Jaroussky as Ruggiero is in thrall to Patricia Petibon as the sorceress Alcina in Katie Mitchell’s virtuosic production of Handel’s opera from the 2015 Aix-en-Provence Festival, described by Bachtrack as “a night of a thousand delights”. Conducted by Andrea Marcon, this was, in the words of Opera News, “musically... a performance of the highest festival level”.
The production of Alcina, by the British director Katie Mitchell, was welcomed by the Financial Times as “meticulously executed... rich in detail, consummately polished”. Like Mitchell’s Aix-en-Provence staging of George Benjamin’s hugely successful WrittenRead more on Skin (first seen in 2012), it offers simultaneous action in multiple zones of the stage, with Alcina’s elegant boudoir taking pride of place. As the New York Times wrote: “It involves a huge sorcery machine for turning people into animals (or whatever). And Ms. Mitchell works magic of her own onstage, constantly showing the enchantresses Alcina and Morgana alternating between glamorous public personas and their ‘real life’, older, private selves... There are also bits of simulated sex, mingling genders and suggesting, among other things, inventive new ways to hit high notes.”
Gregory sings with lean elegance. Bradic displays brilliant technique. Jaroussky’s intricately decorated ‘Verdi prati’ is irresistible. Prohaska spins exquisite lines. Petibon is sensational throughout: supremely confident in the pathos and neurotic pyrotechnics of Alcina’s music and character. In the pit, Andrea Marcon directs the Freiburger Barockorchester smartly, with a shiver of sul ponticello bowing.
Alcina, HWV 34by George Frideric Handel Performer:
Patricia Petibon (Soprano),
Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor)
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque Written: 1735; London, England
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
outrageous stagingFebruary 11, 2017By K. Perlman (Madison, WI)See All My Reviews"Katie Mitchell, stage director created a disgusting, outrageously bad staging for a wonderful Handel opera with outstanding singers Jaroussky, Petibon . Mitchell "modernized" Handel's opera : the entire stage is a bed where the artists have to wiggle in all kinds of sex acts. I love Handel's operas and the music and singing, but I feel an untalented stage manager should not ruin a wonderful opera by imposing her twisted mind changing what the composer had in mind. The opera is "Mythology" it would have been easy to create a mythological stage and not vulgarize this wonderful opera. Shame on Katie Mitchell she ruined a superbly sung beautiful baroque opera. K. Perlman"Report Abuse