Handel's Ariodante

Christof Loy (stage director), Gianluca Capuano (conductor) — With Cecilia Bartoli (Ariodante), Nathan Berg (The King of Scotland) and Rolando Villazón (Lurcanio)

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Christof Loy — Stage director

Johannes Leiacker — Associate set designer

Ursula Renzenbrink — Costume designer

Roland Edrich — Lighting

Andreas Heise — Choreographer

Cecilia Bartoli — Mezzo-soprano (Ariodante)

Nathan Berg — Bass-baritone (The King of Scotland)

Kathryn Lewek — Soprano (Ginevra)

Rolando Villazón — Tenor (Lurcanio)

Christophe Dumaux — Countertenor (Polinesso)

Sandrine Piau — Soprano (Dalinda)

Kristofer Lundin — Tenor (Odoardo)

Salzburger Bachchor

Les Musiciens du Prince–Monaco

Gianluca Capuano — Conductor

Program notes

Discover Ariodante, George Frideric Handel’s Baroque opera, a masterpiece plunging us into the ruthless world of the Scottish royal court through a love story of knight-errant Ariodante and princess Ginevra. Christof Loy staged the production at the Salzburg Festival 2017, alongside maestro Gianluca Capuano who conducted Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco.

The stage director offers a reflection on gendered roles and deceptive appearances, as the title role is played by a singer in drag—the excellent Cecilia Bartoli—first dressed as a man and then as a woman before becoming a hermaphrodite, wearing a dress and smoking a cigar. The mezzo-soprano virtuosically alternates between plaintive melody and joyful singing. Performing alongside her is young American soprano Kathryn Lewek, who plays the role of the princess, described as a “real discovery” by Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Accompanied by the ensemble Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco, the artists perform in a theatrical setting and dance to the Baroque-inspired choreography of Andreas Hesie. Collectively, these elements make this opera a real triumph, confirmed by the loud applause and cheers of the audience!

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