Carlo il Calvo
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Carlo il Calvo

N. A. Porpora

Carlo il Calvo - Charles the Bald premiered in 1738 at the Teatro delle Dame, Rome's leading opera house. The cast consisted entirely of men and castrati. Women were not allowed to perform publicly in the Holy City. Porpora's opera is based on a Venetian libretto from 1699, which was set to music under various titles by composers such as Vinaccesi, Keller, Alessandro Scarlatti, Orlandini and Telemann. The score has been preserved in the Naples Conservatory.

The plot takes us back to the early Middle Ages, when Charlemagne's Europe fell apart at the hands of his quarreling heirs. The peculiarity is that the title role is a child. In contrast to his colleagues, Porpora even lets it sing a few verses. Lothar the German, his stepbrother, grandson of Charlemagne, kidnaps the rightful heir to the throne in order to wrest his rule from him. This gives Karl's mother the opportunity to experience heartbreaking scenes of despair and breathtaking outbursts of emotion. A prime role for the Russian star soprano Julia Lezhneva. Max Emanuel Cencic incarnates Lothar who has been seduced to evil by a false adviser into pathological hysteria. Franco Fagioli, as the noble knight Adalgiso, has what it takes to put a stop to the tyrant and restore the divine order.

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pressphoto A, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto B, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto C, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto D, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto E, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto F, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto G, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto H, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto I, © Falk von Traubenberg
pressphoto J, © Falk von Traubenberg
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Cast

Adalgiso: Franco Fagioli
Lottario: Max Emanuel Cencic
Gildippe: Julia Lezhneva | Hasnaa Bennani
Giuditta: Suzanne Jerosme
Eduige: Nian Wang
Berardo: Bruno de Sá
Asprando: Petr Nekoranec
musical direction: George Petrou
orchestra: Armonia Atenea
direction: Max Emanuel Cencic
stage: Giorgina Germanou
costumes: Maria Zorba
light: David Debrinay
assistant to the director: Constantina Psoma

Bayreuth Baroque