A brand new production of Mozart and da Ponte’s provocative opera, direct from this year’s Aix-en-Provence Festival.
When wily old cynic Don Alfonso bets that the lovers of two young men won’t stay faithful if put to the test, he sets in motion a comical but dangerous game of love, lust and fidelity. Pretending to depart but returning in disguise, the two men find themselves attempting to seduce each other’s fiancée – but will the original couples emerge unscathed from this cruel competition?
Mozart’s sublime score picks apart the themes of trust and deception, loyalty and desire with some of his most passionate and profound music.
Set in east African Eritrea during the 1930s, while still colonised by Italy, this is a provocative and sexually explicit take on Mozart’s opera. Through stark portrayals of the sexual and racial tensions of the time this is a compelling production that tackles challenging issues.
The production’s exceptional cast includes radiant French soprano Sandrine Piau as comic dogsbody Despina, and leading US baritone Rod Gilfry as Don Alfonso, mastermind of the deception. The quartet of lovers are sung by a superb international ensemble of Lenneke Ruiten, Kate Lindsey, Joel Prieto and Nahuel di Pierro.
Outstanding young French conductor and period performance specialist Jérémie Rhorer conducts the production, with the crisp, incisive playing of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, acclaimed as one of the world’s finest period-instrument ensembles.
This new production of Mozart and da Ponte’s dissection of the ruthlessness of desire is directed by French writer, film and theatre maker Christophe Honoré, who unflinchingly examines the power relationships between the opera’s characters. Lesser known in the English-speaking world, Honoré is lionised in his native France for his plays, novels and films, sometimes tackling taboo subjects, his name greeted with controversy as well as critical acclaim.
Contains adult themes and nudity
Nahuel di PierroGuglielmo
Rod GilfryDon Alfonso
Jérémie Rhorer Conductor
Christophe Honoré Director
Alban Ho Van Set designer
Thibault Van Craenenbroeck Costume designer
Dominique Bruguière Lighting designer
Chorus appear in association with Cape Town Opera
A production of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In co-production with Opéra de Lille and Edinburgh International Festival
More information about some of the artists