Monday, February 20, 2012

Händel's Rinaldo in Caen Theatre

© Národní divadlo, Ilona Sochorová
The spectacular production of Rinaldo premièred 4 April 2009
 in the Estates Theater Prague with beautiful Kateřina Kněžíková as Almirena (ref)

MEZZO TV did it to me again as I was not careful.

I opened the TV and switched casually to MEZZO ... heard some Händel and ...

That was it. Even if I tried I could not change the channel for the next three hours or so as I was totally mesmerized by the opera. I need to learn to be more careful with this station of classical music and jazz.

Personally I love to listen to Händel's Italian Cantatas on CD, also his oratorios, especially Susanna. But the operas... to be quite honest listening to them on radio makes me feel that they are rather boring. Including Rinaldo...

So where is the difference between just listening to Rinaldo from a CD and listening and watching a performance on TV?

What is the reason that Händel's composition suddenly becomes meaningful and live - including those recitatives with sometimes only a cembalo supporting it and the complicated A-B-A style arias? Why the "boring" baroque opera suddenly sounds heavenly beautiful demonstrating why Händel is counted among the greatest masters of Western music?

Not just music...
I think it is the combination of visual splendour together with the music that makes the difference.

Händel's Rinaldo in Cane Theatre with Collegium 1704 was co-production of the National Theatre Prague, Le Théâtre de Caen, L´Opéra de Rennes and Le Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. 

I have never before seen anything quite like that.

Everything worked together, the dresses were all pieces of art, the props stunning, the dances fitted perfectly to the moods and events from the magic forest to the major battle, the orchestra sounding like a real baroque, the majestic trumpets, the unforgettable singing ...

But what was most impressive in my mind were the gestures.

The hand gestures of the wonderful singers and the dancers made this Rinaldo an almost iconic event.

All this together did not hide but rather emphasized the Händel's music.

Do I sound overly enthusiastic?

If so, apparently you have not yet watched this particular production of Rinaldo!

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