By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Gianfranco Rota)
Francesco Micheli is set to make history by becoming the fourth Italian director to stage a new opera production in the 88-year-long history of the Glyndebourne Festival.
Micheli will make his debut at the 2022 edition of the Festival, staging Georg Friedrich Händel’s “Alcina.” He follows such Italian directors as Damiano Michieletto, Franco Enriquez, and Franco Zeffirelli in leading a production with the company.
In a statement, Micheli said, “Händel staged a world at its sunset, the enchanted and noble world of the Age of Chivalry of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. He did so through a magic-filled opera, full of special effects. This is why I imagined the show as a tribute to the most magical and nonetheless real thing I know: the theatre. The world of declining chivalry epics is reflected in the revue, a theatre expression that had its peak of popularity between the 1930s and 1950s, only to be overcome by modernity. Right now, while our continent is at risk of explosion – concludes Micheli – adopting as a Patron Saint a German composer who trained in Italy and who rose to success in England, is only a healthy process.”
“Alcina” is set to be conducted by Jonathan Cohen who is leading the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The opera will star Jane Archibald in the title role, Rowan Pierce playing Oberto, Samantha Hankey and Svetlina Stoyanova alternating in the role of Ruggiero, Beth Taylor as Bradamante, Stuart Jackson and Alastair Miles respectively as Oronte and Melisso.
“Alcina” will be performed from July 2 through August 24, 2022.