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Early Music Concerts 2010-2011 [1]

Early Music Concerts 2010-2011: (UK) Haydn: L’isola disabitata, London (2010 Nov. 2) -- Opera Today Review

Contributed by Admin on Nov 07, 2010 - 02:54 PM

Haydn’s L’isola disabitata is ideally suited to the modern taste for chamber opera. This is Haydn for those who think they don’t like his operas or even baroque form.

Written in 1799, just before the three best known operas, L’isola disabitata is enjoying a major revival all of its own, thanks to the 2007 edition used at the Young Artists production in the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House, London. It’s short, snappy and there are no high male voices. 

Its beauty lies in its Spartan simplicity. This is a deserted island, after all. As with so much pre 19th century music, elaboration masks strong basic themes. L’isola disabitata is remarkably clear sighted. It’s about keeping faith, despite adversity.

Constanza (Elisabeth Meister) is a woman who has been on an isolated island for 13 years. She thinks she’s been deserted by her husband Genandro (Steven Ebel). The name “Constanza” means “constancy”, but Constanza is no passive saint like Penelope in Greek myth who kept faith with Odysseus when he wandered. Constanza gets angry, so mad that she almost becomes mad with bitterness. She passes the years by incising an inscription deeper and deeper into the surface of a rock. It’s a powerfully potent curse. Her love has turned to unrelenting hate.

To read the complete review, visit the Opera Today [2] website.

 

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