I bought this after seeing the video clip on the Opus Arte website. Beautifully performed opera with original instruments, excellent singers and great sound quality. Especially notable are the counter tenor Brian Asawa and the passionate portrayal of Penelope by Graciela Araya. The minimalist set matches the action well. 2 discs, subtitles in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch. 176 minutes running time. Extras include a synopsis read in English, about 17 minutes of rehearsal and interviews (all with subtitles) and a cast gallery.
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The Iliad and the Odyssey were the inspiration for many Baroque composers. Monteverdi uses the Odyssey to turn around Ulysses home to an opera. Reportedly, this return home took ten years and thus adding to the ten-year Trojan War, the hero has been out for twenty years. Long was waiting for his wife Penelope, who was on crack and still had to put up a bunch of crooks wanting to usurp the kingdom. Musically, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria following baroque features: bass, recitatives and arias slow. Opera long, slow rhythm that makes his complicated scenario today. There are several versions on the market. I highlight two: that of Hans Werner Henze to Salzburg Festival (1985) and Pierre Audi for the Netherlands Opera (1998). The production of the Salzburg Festival opts for a full version, traditional costumes, and loaded a static scenario. Singers quality, Thomas Allen is superb as Ulysses, and Kathleen Khulmann Penelope makes a passionate and emotional. Orchestration right direction and one that is in the trivial, the story objectively, going straight to the point. Pierre Audi is a different reading. He wipes the story, cut scenes it deems unnecessary. I am against this procedure. The work must be performed in full, as conceived by the librettist and composer. I admit that the idea brought dynamic. His scenes are lightweight, minimalist, its light takes part in the scenic element, its moves toward the crowd. Costumes modern, bold, timeless. Print speed of a baroque opera, slow by nature. The soloists are outstanding, highlights for Brian Asawa and Penelope, Graciela Araya. Period instruments often sound strange to the ears of today, but the quest to reconstruct the original sound is very interesting - and often boring.Read more ›