Ginastera's Bomarzo: reviews of new Madrid production(June 2017)
Pierre Audi's new production of Alberto Ginastera's opera Bomarzo at the Teatro Real in Madrid probes the dark psychology of the duke who created a garden of monsters.
"Near Viterbo, Duke Piero Francesco Orsini, himself physically deformed, built a garden of monstrous statues that inspired Mujica Láines to create his monumental novel Bomarzo, from which he crafted an opera libretto for the greatest Argentine composer… Alberto Ginastera composed a powerful opera with an aesthetic of stark expressionism that is highly expressive, with moments of huge and rich sonic substance… Pierre Audi’s tormented, often claustrophobic production enhances the opera’s musical values… It translates the themes of oppression but also the enigmatic beauty of those monsters – physical and moral – that, as in Goya produce the dream of rationality.
"Bomarzo is a retrospective account before the death of the duke, who believes he has drunk a potion for immortality. In these moments the action visits key episodes that forged his life, marginalised by his deformity but also pursued by his own demons… The duke sits, locked in his labyrinth, twinned with the Minotaur, and sings in a search for answers… There are elements of Edvard Munch and also of Franz Kafka, with those unclassifiable monsters that prowl the stage... Bomarzo is a potion that disturbs the senses…"
"The imposing setting of Bomarzo in Madrid transports the spectator to a dreamlike galaxy and right from the opening takes us down that rabbit hole, just like Alice… The dancers are transformed into peacocks, monsters, ghosts and masks, to bring according to the setting, sensuality or grotesque imagery… Bomarzo is an elixir of sounds and pictures that scream and scratch at a perennial human trait: solitude."
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Photo: © Javier del Real
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