Orlando Furioso

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September 2023 Next

The marvellous “golden octaves” by Ludovico Ariosto and his Orlando furioso undoubtedly hold an irresistible attraction for many composers (not only Vivaldi, but also Händel, Mayr, Lully), but perhaps it is the pages by the ‘red priest’ (debuted at Teatro Sant’Angelo in Venice in 1727) that best interpret the subject’s thrill and rhythmic tension, offering the perfect combination of the metric form of Furioso with the prosody of the score. Indeed, an invisible power seems to be moving the forests that the Ariostian warhorses are racing through, in the same manner that the lavish orchestration of the score does not seem to have a moment’s rest. 

Program and cast

Orlando: Sonia Prina
Angelica: Michela Antenucci
Alcina: Lucia Cirillo
Astolfo: Luca Tittoto
Bradamante: Loriana Castellano
Ruggero: Kangmin Justin Kim
Medoro: Laura Polverelli


La Fenice Orchestra & Choir
Conductor: Diego Fasolis
Director: Fabio Ceresa
Sets Massimo Checchetto
Costumes Beppe Palella

Teatro Malibran


The Teatro Malibran, known over its lifetime by a variety of names, beginning with the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo(or Crisostomo) after the nearby church, is an opera house in Venice which was inaugurated in 1678 with a production of the premiere of Carlo Pallavicino's opera Vespasiano. By 1683, it had quickly become known as "the biggest, most beautiful and richest theatre in the city" and its operatic importance throughout the 17th and 18th centuries led to an even grander description by 1730:

A true kingdom of marvels....that with the vastness of its magnificent dimension can be rightly compared to the splendours of ancient Rome and that with the grandeur of its more than regal dramatic performances has now conquered the applause and esteem of the whole world.

Richly decorated, the theatre consisted of five levels of thirty boxes and a large stalls area. However, as an opera house, its success was short-lived and from 1751 to 1800, opera was rarely performed there. Taken over by the municipality in 1797, it became the Teatro Civico until purchased by a partnership and restored in 1819. It re-opened again, this time in private hands, with Rossini's La gazza ladra. But deterioration continued, the partnership broke up, and the remaining partner, Giovanni Gallo, continued with additional refurbishment, giving it the new name of the Teatro Emeronitto (Theatre of Day and Night) and inaugurating it in December 1834 with Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.

When the famous soprano Maria Malibran came to sing Vincenzo Bellini's La sonnambula on 8 April 1835, she was clearly appalled at the condition of the theatre since Lynn reports that "she refused her fee, telling the impresario to 'use it for the theatre' ". At that point the opera house became the Teatro Malibran in the singer's honour and it is the name by which the theatre has been known ever since.



From Tronchetto: line 2 toward Rialto bridge, St Mark and Lido  

From Piazzale Roma and the Santa Lucia train station: line 1 or line 2 toward Rialto bridge, St Mark and Lido  

Stops: take line 1 to Rialto bridge, St Angel, St Samuel or St Mark Marco (Vallaresso); or Take line 2 to Rialto or St Mark (Vallaresso)    

Alilaguna public transportation service from the Marco Polo airport - take the orange line to Rialto bridge or the blue line to St Mark (Vallaresso)

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