YouTube channel of the Polish Royal Opera- retransmission from the Chamber Music Hall of the Polish National Opera
The Secret Life of Paintings is a unique combination of arias from the operas of Monteverdi, Handel and Vivaldi with visual art from the Baroque era. Fragments of such works as Orlando, Ariodante or Alcina, that is “musical paintings”, are the setting for stories based on scenes immortalised on the canvases of old masters.
What did Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter learn from the correspondence? What is Rembrandt’s Night Watch talking about just before marching out? And who will catch the maiden’s slipper in Fragonard’s The Swing? These and many other questions will be answered during the concert The Secret Life of Paintings.
Each of the three composers whose works will be performed during the concert played an important role in the history of the opera. Monteverdi, the father of musical theatre, developed a uniquely expressive musical language throughout his creative life. His undying genius is proved by the last two operas preserved to this day, The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland and The Coronation of Poppea, where the composer demonstrates not only his skill of writing delightful melodies and conducting fast narration but, above all, he convincingly shapes the captivating characters of the drama.
Georg Friedrich Haendel, too, could not resist the charm and endless possibilities of the opera genre. He absorbed the very essence of Italian opera during his stay in Tuscany, where he wrote his first dramatic works. One of them id Agrippina with the exquisitely crafted title character – a mischievous schemer, whose determination resounds so strongly in her aria L’alma mia fra le tempeste from Act I. No less convincing are the characters from the opera Rinaldo – the work with which Haendel triumphantly inaugurated his London career – as well as the musical portraits depicted in his later masterpieces, including ones based on Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando). Arias and duets from operas such as Orlando, Ariodante and Alcine are a spiritual feast for the audience, and for the singers, they provide an excellent opportunity to showcase both vocal artistry and acting talents. They capture our imagination all the more when they are coupled with the genius of Baroque painting.
The event is a co-production of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera and the Polish Royal Opera. The soloists of the Opera Academy of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera are accompanied by the Period Instruments Ensemble of the Polish Royal Opera Capella Regia Polona conducted by Krzysztof Garstka.
C. Monteverdi – aria (Neptune) Superbo è l´uom from the opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria SV 325
G.F. Haendel – aria (Armida) Furie terribili from the opera Rinaldo HWV 7
G.F. Haendel – aria (Ariodante) Dopo notte from the opera Ariodante HWV 33
G.F. Haendel – aria (Armida) Molto voglio, molto spero from the opera Rinaldo HWV 7
G.F. Haendel – duet (Ginevra and Ariodante) Bramo aver mille vite from the opera Ariodante HWV 33
G.F. Haendel – duet (Lurcanio and Dalinda) Dite spera from the opera Ariodante HWV 33
G.F. Haendel – aria (Zoroastro) Lascia Amore e segui Marte! from the opera Orlando HWV 31
G.F. Haendel – aria (Lurcanio) Il tuo sangue from the opera Ariodante HWV 33
G.F. Haendel – aria (Argante) Sibilar gli angui d’Aletto from the opera Rinaldo HWV 7
G.F. Haendel – aria (Alcina) Si son quella from the opera Alcina HWV 34
G.F. Haendel – aria (Agrippina) L’alma mia fra le tempeste from the opera Agrippina HWV 6
G.F. Haendel – aria (Zoroastro) Sorge infausta una procella from the opera Orlando HWV 31
G.F. Haendel – aria (Ariodante) Scherza infida zfrom the opera Ariodante HWV 33
G.F. Haendel – arioso (Ginevra) Vezzi, lusinghe, e brio from the opera Ariodante HWV 33
C. Monteverdi – duet (Poppea and Nerone) Pur ti miro, pur ti godo from the opera L’Incoronazione di Poppea SV 308
G.F. Haendel – aria (Rinaldo) Cara sposa from the opera Rinaldo HWV 7
A. Vivaldi – aria (Juditha) Armatae face et anguibus from the oratorium Juditha triumphans RV 644
MUSIC DIRECTOR KRZYSZTOF GARSTKA
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY EWA RUCIŃSKA
COSTUME DESIGN ELŻBIETA TOLAK
PARTICIPANTS OF THE OPERA ACADEMY OF THE POLISH NATIONAL OPERA
KRZYSZTOF GARSTKA – HARPSICHORD, CONDUCTOR
CONCERT ORGANISED BY: