• Slowacki
  • Parigi-Louvre_Paride e Elena
  • Fot. Wojciech Wandzel
  • Fot. Wojciech Wandzel

29.05.2014 at 20:00 – OPERA RARA, Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, Cracow /Poland (…)

  „Paride ed Elena” – Christoph Willibald Gluck

                            Festival OPERA RARA


PARIDE: David Hansen
ELENA: Raffaella Milanesi
PALLADE: Yetzabel Arias Fernandez
UN TROIANO: Jolanta Kowalska-Pawlikowska

Capella Cracoviensis
Jan Tomasz Adamus – director

Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera in five acts, Paris and Helen (Paride ed Elena), to Rainieri de’ Calzabigi’s libretto, is the last of the three “reformist” works of this duo. This attempt at restoring opera to its original shape, highlighting human passions and drama and holding word and music together, met with a rather cool reception in the composer’s lifetime. First staged at Vienna’s Burgtheater on the 3rd of November 1770, with Jean-Georges Noverre’s choreography, it was dedicated to Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany and the future emperor. The opera, based on two elegies in an epistolary form, most probably of Ovid’s authorship, tells the story of the consequences of the Judgment of Paris – his search for Queen Helen and their flight to Troy together. Engaging five soloists – Paris/Paride (soprano castrato), Helen/Elena (soprano), Cupid (soprano), Pallas Athene (contralto), and a Trojan (soprano) – Gluck plays Paris’ advances and Helen’s feigned resistance with the use of different styles: the Queen of Sparta is ascetic in her dodges, and the Troyan Prince charms with melodious phrases and tempts with virtuosity. Paris and Helen are worth attention all the more, because they were extremely rare guests on the 20th-century stages – an attempt at the work’s revival took place as late as 1973 in Siena.