The Ottoman empire has fallen and the emperor, Bajazet (Plácido Domingo), has been captured by the tyrant Tamerlano (Monica Bacelli), whom he despises. The defeated Bajazet contemplates suicide, but love for his daughter Asteria (Ingela Bohlin) weakens his resolve. Andronico (Sara Mingardo), Prince of Greece and ally of Tamerlano, is in love with Asteria and she with him. When Tamerlano gives him the newly conquered empire of Byzantium, Andronico asks only to remain at Tamerlano's side – really not wanting to leave Asteria...
It is often said that Tamerlano is not only one of Handel's greatest works, but also his darkest opera, which displays dramatically intense characters. Dominated by a Plácido Domingo at the peak of his powers, the cast features many of baroque music’s leading contemporary singers. The orchestra, playing on non-period instruments, is conducted with panache by Paul McCreesh.
Created in 2001 for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, this production directed for stage by Graham Vick had remained unsurpassed ever since.
© Picture: Javier del Real
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