“Orlando Furioso”, Vivaldi’s opera premieres on Thursday, June 17 at the Teatro Real in Madrid

Next Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m., the opera by Antonio Vivaldi will be heard for the first time at the Teatro Real. A large cast specialized in the Baroque, led by countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, will perform this beautiful opera by a Venetian composer in concert version. This is the second time this season that Vivaldi’s music will be heard, after the concert offered last October by Philippe Jaroussky.


On June 17, the stage of the Teatro Real will be filled with the music of one of the jewels of the Baroque, Orlando Furioso, by Antonio Vivaldi. Played by the Armonia Atenea formation, under the direction of the great specialist in the repertoire, George Petrou, it has a cast of great voices led by countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic in the title role.


The cast is completed by soprano Julia Lezhneva (Angelica), mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose (Alcina), alto Jess Dandy (Bradamante), countertenors Philipp Mathmann (Medoro) and David D.Q. Lee (Ruggiero) and the bass baritone Pavel Kudinov (Astolfo).


Orlando furioso is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi, with a libretto in Italian by Grazio Braccioli, based on the epic poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. The play tells the story of Orlando, a noble knight, brave and in love, though unrequited, trapped on the island of the beautiful sorceress Alcina. The scene, woven with love triangles, tangles and magic, combines various arguments from the original work and composes a story of love, jealousy and madness.


The chivalric epic poem written by Ariosto in 1532 contains several main characters, although only one gives it its name, and has inspired many authors, from Lully to Haydn. Years after the premiere of this Vivaldi, two of Handel’s best-known titles would see the light: Alcina (1735) and Orlando (1733).


The first performance of the title took place in Venice, at the Sant’Angelo Theater, in 1727, and is one of the few that remain from the prolific creation of the Venetian composer. His demanding vocal writing – loaded with arias and recitatives as beautiful as they are difficult -, his complex plot – which makes the characters evolve in their dramatic color – and the length of the work, requires a set of first-rate voices, such as the which now meets at the Teatro Real.


Armonia Athena is a project of the Camerata of Athens, founded in 1991 at the inauguration of the Megaron concert hall in Athens, where it has been based since then. In the fall of 2009, he began a regular collaboration with the conductor George Petrou, performing with period instruments a wide repertoire ranging from baroque to classicism. In addition to its usual activities with period instruments, the orchestra maintains various projects in the field of opera and contemporary music.


Petrou is considered one of the main specialists of the baroque of the world, however, his musical activity is very wide, and includes 20th century and contemporary music.