Giovanni Bononcini | Concertante Performance
Dramma per musica | Benjamin Bayl | Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
Dramma per musica in three acts by Giovanni Bononcini
Text by Paolo Antonio Rolli
with newly composed recitatives by Dragan Karolić
World Premiere since 1733
In Italian with German and English subtitles
2 breaks (25 min.) after Act 1 (duration approx. 45 min.) and Act 2 (duration approx. 55 min.). Act 3 approx. 45 min. Total duration approx. 3h 15 min.
Gaultiero, King of Sicily, loves the shepherdess Griselda. But his people, stirred up by Gualtiero’s intriguing opponent Rambaldo, threatens with war should a woman of low birth be placed in rank at the summit of the realm. Griselda is sent back to her rural cottage, Gualtiero in the meantime becomes betrothed to the Apulian princess Almirena, who for her part is in love with Prince Ernesto. The hearts of the unhappy lovers are put to a hard test, having to resist temptations and intrigues.
Giovanni Bononcini’s masterpiece that skilfully unifies the forms of expression opera seria with the musical pastorale, has never been performed in its entirety since 1733, and this, although Bononcini counted as one of the great rivals of George Frideric Handel in the London opera scene of the 1720s, and the aria “Per la gloria d’adorarvi” has remained a cherished concert piece down to the present. Premiered in 1722 at the King’s Theatrem it most notably offered the star castrato Senesino in the role of Gualtiero the opportunity of showing off his legendary prowess. It was not in vain that Senesino himself endeavoured to organise further revivals of Griselda. Bononcini himself published solely the overture and the arias; the original recitatives have remained lost. The Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival is presenting for the first time since 1733 a complete performance of Griselda, Apostolo Zeno’s recitatives were newly composed by the composer and Baroque specialist Dragan Karolić especially for this.
Our media partner Bayerischer Rundfunk will broadcast this concert live.