Classical / Choir Number of Items:

Handel: Rodelinda

Jeanine De Bique, Tim Mead, Benjamin Hulett, Avery Amereau, Jakub Józef Orliński, Andrea Mastroni, Blu-Ray

Handel: Rodelinda (2019)

Format: Blu-Ray

Code: 190295419882

With this DVD and Blu-ray of Rodelinda, one of Handel’s most emotionally complex operas, conductor Emmanuelle Haïm adds to her impressive Erato catalogue of the composer’s works, which she last enlarged in late 2018 with an album of Italian cantatas sung by Sabine Devieilhe and Lea Desandre.

Directed by Jean Bellorini and staged by the Opéra de Lille in Autumn 2018, this Rodelinda was praised by Les Échos as “a production that works very well, offering much beauty in its costumes, lighting and décor, while scrupulously respecting the libretto … and revealing the ambiguities in each character.”

Rodelinda is Queen of Lombardy. She believes her husband, King Bertarido, to be dead. His usurper, Grimoaldo is courting her and threatens to kill her son, Flavio, if she does not marry him. In a typically convoluted baroque plot, it turns out that Bertarido is in fact alive and, following many tensions and dilemmas, all ends happily.

The director chose to see much of the opera through the eyes of the young boy Flavio (a silent role), blurring the divisions between reality and imagination or wish-fulfilment. Set in a world that combines elements of the 18th century and our own time, the production is in almost constant motion, with décor that slides across the stage as if on the rails of a toy train-set. There is, however, nothing childlike about the situations and feelings that it evokes and investigates, and Jean Bellorini describes the long-suffering Rodelinda as “a representative of resistance to male domination”.

The music critic of Le Monde, France’s most authoritative newspaper, praised this Rodelinda highly: “Jeanine De Bique [Rodelinda] has a powerful, full-bodied voice that blends fierce energy with gentle, coppery colours and ethereal top notes … Her husband, Bertarido, is the excellent Tim Mead, an exceptional countertenor, his timbre velvety and his agility remarkable. Their duet ‘Io t’abbraccio’ is one of the highlights of the evening. Shadowed by his evil self, Garibaldo, a villain embodied by the impressive bass Andrea Mastroni …, the Grimoaldo of Benjamin Hulett, who unfailingly sustains the difficult role of the tyrant, is overwhelmed by remorse at a late stage in proceedings. In the role of the femme fatale Eduige [Bertarido’s sister, formerly betrothed to Grimoaldo] Avery Amereau, with her tangy middle register and formidable low notes, revealsed the dichotomy of a woman who craves both power and love.”

Le Monde’s writer concluded with thoughts on countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, who released his Erato debut album, Anima sacra, at the end of 2018, and Emmanuelle Haïm. “Delightful as Unulfo, Jakub Józef Orliński consistently displays the caressing flexibility of his voice and the radiance and power of his top notes. He also looks irresistibly handsome as he carries out the dance moves assigned him by the director. In the pit the Concert d’Astrée is on Olympian form under Emmanuelle Haïm’s direction. She once again gives evidence of her intimate connection with this music, which she knows how to unleash in all its violence, passion and heart-wrenching expressivity.”

Handel: Rodelinda

Running time: 168 Minutes (main feature) / Colour / NTSC systems

Disc Format:  2 DVD 9

Sound Format: Stereo PCM 2.0 & DTS 5.1

Menu language: English

Sung in Italian

Subtitles: Italian, English, French and German

Cast in order of vocal appearance:

Rodelinda, Jeanine de Bique

Bertarido, Tim Mead

Grimoaldo, Benjamin Hulett

Eduige, Avery Amereau

Unulfo, Jakub Józef Orliński

Garibaldo, Andrea Mastroni

Flavio (the child), Aminata Diouaré

Conductor, Emmanuelle Haïm

Le Concert d'Astrée Chorus

Music Producer Assistant, Chorus Master, Benoît Hartoin, Elisabeth Geiger

Production, Stage Director, Scenography, Lighting Designer, Jean Bellorini

Realization and editing, Olivier Simonnet

Production Assistant, Mathieu Coblentz

Costume Designer, Macha Makeïeff

Lighting assisant; Luc Muscillo

A new production by Opera De Lille

Coproduction Théâtre de Caen

Teatro Municipal de Santiago - National Opera of Chili

Director, Caroline Sonrier

Music Producer, Guillaume Hector

Producer, Jean-Jacques Schaettel

Executive Producer, Mathieu Lecoutre

Price: 17,99 €

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