La Finta Pazza



CREATED at the Teatro Novissimo of Venice, 1641

MUSIC Francesco Sacrati
LIBRETTO Giulio Strozzi

MUSICAL DIRECTOR Leonardo García Alarcón
STAGE SETS Laure Pichat
COSTUMES Claudia Jenatsch
LIGHTING Christian Dubet
WIGS Cécile Kretschmar

WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE Cercle d’enterprises of the Dijon Opera, Le Cercle Galatée

  • CAST 

    DEIDAMIA Mariana Flores
    ACHILLE Filippo Mineccia
    ULISSE Carlo Vistoli
    DIOMEDE Valerio Contaldo
    LICOMEDE Alejandro Meerapfel
    EUNUCO Kacper Szelążek
    NODRICE Marcel Beekman
    CAPITANO Salvo Vitale
    AURORA | GIUNONE Julie Roset
    TETIDE | VITTORIA Fiona McGown
    VULCANO | GIOVE Scott Conner
    FAMA | MINERVA Norma Nahoun
    DONZELLA 1 Aurelie Marjot*
    DONZELLA 2 Anna Piroli*
    DONZELLA 3 Sarah Hauss*
    PIRRO Ruben Ruf

    *members of the Dijon Opera Choir


    Dijon Opera
    Opéra Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles

After an oracle predicts that her son Achilles will die in combat, Thetis hides him, dressed in girl’s clothing, among the daughters of king Licomedes. Unknown to the king, Achilles falls in love with the princess Deidamia, and a son is born from this union. Ulysses and Diomedes arrive in search of Achilles, whom they expect to embark with them for Troy. By a cunning stratagem, they reveal his identity. Abandoned, betrayed and desperate, Deidamia, in a ploy as ingenious as it is risky, pretends to succumb to madness, thus delaying the departure of the warriors, and by subtle means manages to rekindle Achilles’ love and win him back as husband. It was for the inauguration of the first theatre ever specifically built for operatic performances  — the Teatro Novissimo — that La Finta Pazza was premiered in Venice on 14 January 1641. This premiere is a key date for multiple firsts: first opera of the composer Francesco Sacrati; first ingenious theatrical machinery developed by Torelli; first prima donna in history with the soprano Anna Renzi, for whom Sacrati composed the first "mad scene" of the genre. The success was immense — 12 performances in 17 days — making this opera the first lyric "hit". Toured by itinerant troupes throughout northern Italy, where it became an archetype of Venetian opera for decades, and helping to launch the exponential development of  opera in Europe, La Finta Pazza would also play a seminal role in the conception of French opera: upon request from Mazarin, the work, partially adapted, would be performed in Paris in 1645.

For more than three centuries, La Finta Pazza was only known by its libretto, which played craftily on all the expectations of Venetian opera: double dimensions between heaven and earth, inversion of gender roles, meta-dramatic allusions, image-within-image between the space of the performance and the song itself. Beyond the mad scenes, it also launched a whole series of operatic staples, with genius heralding in a new dimension of ambivalent intrigues of which the baroque period could not get enough: the feigned insanity of Deidamia paradoxically allowed her to clearly state and reveal the truth in a manner made possible only by the mask of madness. Of Sacrati’s sacred music, of which nothing remained, we could only dream until 1983 and the discovery by musicologist Lorenzo Bianconi of a copy of the score.

This unexpected revelation finally allows us to comprehend, beyond second-hand commentary, the music by a composer who Giacomo Badoaro, librettist of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, described as "the moon to Monteverdi’s sun ", and to whom numerous musicologists have attributed the sublime "Pur ti miro" that closes L’incoronazione di Poppea. Thanks to Leonardo García Alarcón and Jean-Yves Ruf, this music will at last see its first stage production in France since 1645.

Cappella Mediterranea est soutenu par le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, la Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, La Ville de Genève et une fondation privée Genevoise. L’ensemble Cappella Mediterranea est membre de la Fevis (Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés) et du Bureau Export.

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Grand Theatre
  • February 2019
    • Tuesday 05 at 20:00
    • Thursday 07 at 20:00
    • Friday 08 at 20:00
    • Sunday 10 at 15:00
Price Opera
From 5,50€ to 65€
3h approximately with intermission

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