Another Vivaldi opera enters the discography, and this one’s a beauty. Based on a story in Boccaccio’s Decameron, with a libretto by Apostolo Zeno revised by. Vivaldi’s genius came to full fruition in his masterpiece Griselda. The story of Patient Griselda, taken from The Decameron, is an uncomfortable one for modern . Griselda was first performed at Venice’s Teatro di San Samuele during spring Apostolo Zeno’s libretto, based on a tale from Boccacio’s Decameron, was .
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Vivaldi’s genius came to full fruition in his masterpiece Griselda. The story of Patient Griselda, taken from The Decameron, is an uncomfortable one for modern day sensibilities, with Griselda required to submit to many horrible tests of her vivalei, and strength of love and service to her husband.
The score contains some of Vivaldi’s finest – and most difficult arias – including Agitata da due venti and Dopo un’orrida procella. Usually sung by a woman in the few modern productions there have been, we cast the amazing David Hansen in the soprano role of the villain Ottone. Enjoy ornaments on ornaments and vocal pyrotechnics to burn! The Griseldw, 2 Dec – Deborah Jones. The villain thinks he’s won the girl!
Caitlin Hulcup sings as Griselda, cast out from the palace, and now forced to sleep in garbage and snow. Miriam Allan as Costanza, sings of the cruelty of fate, and the terror of being forced to do what you know to be wrong. Orchestra of the Antipodes. The Return of Ulysses. Support our Maestro Appeal. Saviour of Opera Companies. Although most of us today relish the composer of The Four Seasons for his instrumental works and flashy violin writing, in his day Antonio Vivaldi also made his mark as an opera composer, impresario, and conductor.
Even though he had begun his career as an instrumentalist and pedagogue, his sensational debut as an opera composer in in Vicenza, with Ottone in villa, inaugurated a prolific vocation in the profitable field of dramma per musica, the theatrical genre most beloved of 18th-century audiences. Vivaldi prided himself on an unconventional and controversial life. By no means a humble man, he flaunted his formidable virtuosity, exaggerated his productivity, and boasted endlessly of his welldeserved international reputation.
In he maintained to have written 94 operas, and to an English visitor he laid claim to 17 printed publications when in reality there were only 12 Vivaldi cheekily inflated the figure by including the sets issued in two volumes.
Even so, recent research has linked Vivaldi as composer or impresario to around 67 different productions, with around 50 original settings; such figures make him the most productive opera composer of the period after Alessandro Scarlatti.
There was no place for a plebeian priest Vigaldi had been ordained inthough he had ceased to celebrate Mass the following year on the sumptuous stages of the S. Giovanni Grisostomo vibaldi S. These houses were equipped with the latest theatrical technology that — amongst other innovations — allowed the stage to accommodate the weight of live elephants and horses.
The gaggle of young singers that Vivaldi preferred was never to be allowed to sully these expensive boards.
But things changed in A librettist called Domenico Lalli, an administrator connected to the Grimani operations, resigned. Vivaldi, in his dual role as composer-impresario, had rather remarkably managed to run up a sizable profit. Vivaldi favoured younger and less expensive singers on the cusp of international careers, and eschewed the exorbitant fees of superstar castrati. He also appears to have encouraged and promoted singers better known for their acting skills. With Lalli out of the way, the Grimanis decided to give the notorious Vivaldi vivwldi try.
For the libretto, they turned to a griselva poet by the name of Carlo Goldoni. Goldoni himself penned an account of his first meeting with Vivaldi: Sensing the fashion for griiselda new modern galant idiom, Vivaldi was careful to contrast the traditional vocal fireworks with a new mellifluous and elegantly structured style.
Griselda, RV 718 (Vivaldi, Antonio)
The fact that her questions about her fate go unanswered by others only outlines even more dramatically the cruel injustice of the situation. As for the Grimanis and the troubled finances of the S. Samuele theatre in Thanks to Vivaldi and his young stars, the Grimanis and their theatre were back in business. Gualtiero tells Griselda that he is replacing her with a more royal consort. She returns her crown to him; he immediately leaves to greet his new bride. The court noble Ottone, who desires Griselda, promises to kill Gualtiero if she will love him instead.
She rejects his suit. Corrado allows Griselda one last moment to bid her son Everardo farewell. Ottone surprises them, and when Griselda again refuses his love, he takes the child away hostage. ACT 2 Ottone delivers an ultimatum to Griselda: In despair, she at first agrees to the bargain to save her son, but her devotion to Gualtiero proves stronger than her maternal love; she calls down the justice of heaven on Ottone as he leaves to carry out his threat.
Meanwhile, Costanza and Roberto continue to struggle with the conflicting demands of love and loyalty. Griselda, now living rough again, cries herself to sleep. Costanza arrives and finds herself strangely drawn to Griselda; she begs Gualtiero to let her employ Griselda as her maid. Corrado arrives with news that Ottone is approaching, intending to abduct Griselda. Gualtiero tells her to accept her fate, but changes his mind at the last minute, and has Ottone escorted away.
Vivaldi Griselda |
ACT 3 Griselda overhears Costanza and Roberto declaring their love for each other; furious at their betrayal of Gualtiero, she launches into a tirade of reproaches, but when Gualtiero arrives, he tells Griselda the matter is none of her business, and orders her to serve Costanza without question, even if she is dallying with Roberto.
The lovers are bemused but delighted at this reprieve. Griselda is further humiliated by being required to direct the wedding preparations.
Gualtiero, still not satisfied, pledges Griselda to Ottone. This is the proof Gualtiero has been waiting for. Faced with such virtue, the people can no longer oppose Griselda as queen.
Gualtiero reveals that Costanza is their long-lost daughter. He gives his blessing to the marriage of Costanza and Roberto. At its core, it concerns the pursuit of professional success, at any personal cost.
Griselda — Opera Settecento Company
This is as it ever was, topical. Reworking a libretto by Apostolo Zeno, playwright Carlo Goldoni and Vivaldi open their version with a crisis: His people are tired of Queen Griselda, a woman of humble birth. A petulant public demands he have a nobler consort. Other characters in the opera are equally driven: He threatens to kill the king unless Griselda has an affair with him.
Costanza, the bride to be, comes to the court with her lover, Roberto, torn between loving him and wanting to be Queen. In the face of such conspiracies, Griselda resists. Her resilience is admirable, yet the extent of her suffering reveals a complex ambiguity: These complexities resonate not only with the struggles that might exist within a domestic union, but with the power that individuals seek and play out in public life.
The opera is fuelled by this tension between professional ambition and personal sacrifice, by behaviour that is both horrific and utterly human. Download the Program including libretto. While each had their individual virtues, all six singers displayed a sure sense of line, shaping arias and recitatives with thoughtfulness and sensitivity. In the title role, mezzosoprano Caitlin Hulcup was outstanding. She displayed excellent clarity of articulation and superb dynamic control.