Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Theodora by Händel at Champs Elysees


William Christie is leading his ensemble Les Arts Florissants in Georg Friedrich Händels Opera Theodora at Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, 10-20. October 2015.

William Christie is leading his ensemble Les Arts Florissants in Georg Friedrich Händels Opera Theodora at Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, 10-20. October 2015.

Theodora

Georg Friedrich Handel

PARIS/FRANCE: A first for the Paris concert stage as exceptional singers add lustre to one of Handel’s most touching works. Where two of the leading persons are being executed in the very end. 


 

Oratorio in three acts (1750)
Libretto Thomas Morell

William Christie  musical direction
Stephen Langridge  staging
Philippe Giraudeau  choregraphy
Alison Chitty  sets and costumes
Fabrice Kebour  lights

Katherine Watson Theodora

Katherine Watson, sings Theodora, and  Stéphanie d’Oustrac Irène.

Katherine Watson, sings Theodora, and
Stéphanie d’Oustrac Irène.

Stéphanie d’Oustrac Irène
Philippe Jaroussky Dydime
Kresimir Spicer Septime
Callum Thorpe Valens

Orchestre et Chœur Les Arts Florissants

Theodora is Georg Driedrich Handel’s penultimate work and the only one of his oratorios to be based on a Christian theme.

Written with eye to posterity, it is also a sublime plea for tolerance. In 1749, a 64 year-old Handel had long abandoned the opera seria in favour of the oratorio. Nonetheless, Theodora displays an intensity worthy of his greatest tragedies. It exalts the martyrdom of a chaste Christian girl persecuted by the Romans at the beginning of the 4th century AD. Even the love of a young centurion convert, Didymus, fails to save her.

The world faouse countertenor Philip Jarousky sings Dydime in Theodora.  In fact mr. Jarousjy became famouse, and his carriere really took of after his titelrole in another work with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, It was in Il Saint Alessio, Which was premiered early autumn 2007 in Caen, the "home city" of Les Arts Florissants.

The world faouse countertenor Philippe Jarousky sings Dydime in Theodora.
In fact mr. Jarousjy became famouse, and his carriere really took, of after his titelrole in another work with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, It was in Stefano Landis opera Il Saint Alessio, Which was premiered early autumn 2007 in Caen, the “home city” of Les Arts Florissants. Kulturkompasset was present to that premiere, and reviewed it for www.kulturkompasset.com

Throughout the work, Theodora loves, suffers and dies with devastating sincerity. Handel himself said this was his favourite oratorio.

It contains some of his finest pages—Theodora’s air “With Darkness Deep”, the air sung by Irene and the final duo in Act III, for instance. The score is superb, constantly attentive to the psychological aura of the characters. Handel makes use of orchestral colour and musical nuance to exalt virtue and faith.

The chorus, in passages of overpowering emotional depth, describe the violence of the Romans in contrast to the compassion of the Christians.

 

The production brings together British director Stephen Langridge and the conductor William Christie, a connoisseur of the Handel repertoire (his début performance as a conductor at Glyndebourne was Peter Sellars’ production of Theodora). This tragedy of tolerance will be performed by a remarkable cast who have already cut their teeth on this repertoire— the young Katherine Watson will play the title role, Stéphanie d’Oustrac the role of the faithful Irene, while Philippe Jaroussky is the Roman convert who tries to save Theodora, in vain.

 

NEW PRODUCTION
Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Sung in English with French subtitles

Approximate running time : 3h

At Théâtre des Champs Élysées 10.-20.October 2015

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , ,