Partenope tells the story of Rosmira, who is still in love with Arsace, despite the fact that he jilted her. Even more unfortunately, he is enamoured with the delightful Partenope, who is already being courted by Armindo and Emilio. To try and win back Arsace, Rosmira dresses up as a man in order to become one of Partenope’s suitors. With one woman and four potential suitors, it’s no surprise that things begin to become a bit tangled – love’s complicated enough when it only involves two.
Humorous in character and with light textured music, Partenope is one of George Frideric Handel’s most popular operas, having first been performed in 1730 and still being a stage regular many years later.
This sumptuous production was a revival of Christopher Alden’s 2008 production which took the operatic scene by storm. Alden has directed operas around the globe and is known for keeping the art form challenging and vital. He has won a range of awards around the world including the Achievement in Opera award at the UK Theatre Awards in 2012, the Golden Mask for best opera in Moscow as well as the Olivier Award for Best UK Opera for his original 2008 production of Partenope.
With a blend of shimmering arias and beautiful ensembles, Handel’s hilarious classic is wonderfully retold for a modern audience. With set design by Andrew Lieberman, costume design by Jon Morrell and Adam Silverman as lighting designer, the production is heavily influenced by the surrealist imagery of the artist Man Ray.
The production was conducted by Christian Curnyn, the baroque specialist, and included former ENO Harewood Artist Sarah Tynan, mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon and tenor Robert Murray.
With this beautifully sumptuous award winning production having returned for another run at the London Coliseum, this was not to be missed by any opera fans who did not get the opportunity to see its brilliance the first time around, with performances having run from the 15th March until 24th March 2017.
Recommended forChristopher Alden is known for making exciting, challenging and beautiful versions of classic operas. For those who enjoy the brilliance of a classic opera but enjoy unique and engaging touch, Partenope is likely to be a highlight of the ENO’s 2017 season at the London Coliseum.
Age Recommendations: No children under 5