White Shirt Monday: When in Rome…

[A White-Shirt-Black-Tie Affair: Mary-Ellen Nesi as Orazio in Gluck’s newly uncovered “Trionfo di Clelia”, Athens 2012]

The George Petrou-helmed unearthing of Gluck’s “Trionfo di Clelia”, based on a trusty Metastasio plot (though none of the more famous ones) and composed before Gluck took a sharp left in direction of “reform opera”, offers not just one, but two lead white shirts – next to Mary-Ellen Nesi as Orazio, there’s Irini Karaianni as bad boy Tarquinio.

Nigel Lowery’s staging offers some disturbing pre-fascist imagery, which makes me curious to see how the opera’s central theme of freedom is being dealt with here – it looks as if it’s a bit more in-depth than your usual happy-go-lucky festival production.

While the February performances in Athens are over, there will be two more in June (24th and 25h) at ROH in London – and there are definitely two mezzos worth the trip. More details can be found on the website to go with the project (thanks to Lang for suggesting this for WSM!).

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