Culture Magazine

Metropolian Opera Preview: Rodelinda

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
Renée Fleming returns to the Met as Handel's sixth-century queen.

Metropolian Opera Preview: Rodelinda

Renée Fleming in the title role of Rodelinda.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2004 The Metropolitan Opera.

The Met presents a revival of Stephen Wadsworth's production of Handel's opera seria. This is the second revival of Rodelinda, an opera which first arrived at the Met in 2004 with Ms. Fleming and countertenor David Daniels in the leading roles. Here, the star soprano is paired with mezzo Stephanie Blythe. Harry Bickett conducts.
Handel's opera retells the story of a Lombard queen whose husband Bertarido (countertenor Andreas Scholl) fakes his own death in order to achieve revenge and take back his throne. Since this is baroque opera and not Verdi, everything ends on a note of forgiveness as Rodelinda and her husband are restored to the throne.
There is some reason to debate the merits of performing baroque opera in the vast spaces of the Met. But Ms. Fleming remains a magnetic stage presence, and this revival (which includes a Live in HD broadcast) will preserve another of the singer's many roles for posterity.
Thanks to the revival of interest in baroque opera in the last two decades, Rodelinda has not been ignored on disc. There's even an older set with Joan Sutherland applying her formidable technique to the title role.
Il Complesso Barocco cond. Alan Curtis (DG Archiv, 2005)
Rodelinda: Simone Kermes
Bertarido: Marjana Mijanovic
Grimoaldo: Steve Davislim
This is a fine period performance ensemble under the experienced baton of Alan Curtis. The cast is solid and enthusiastic, with female singers taking the roles that are normally delegated to countertenors.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog