Countertenor Filippo Mineccia stars in the “Metastasio without Borders” festival
- On stage
Metastasio was undoubtedly the most celebrated and exceptionally prolific librettist of the Baroque, with Handel, Hasse and Vivaldi repeatedly using his texts. In the era of classicism, Mozart composed his last opera “The Clemency of Titus” to the writer’s libretto. In the 1780s, the Basilian Fathers’ printing house in Supraśl published translations of oratorio, opera and cantata libretti by Metastasio. The translations of Bazyl Popiel and Wacław Sierakowski inspired Michał Zieliński who came up with the idea of holding the festival in Supraśl.
Theater and opera director, and recently the deputy artistic director of the Wrocław Opera, Znaniecki has built the rich program of the first edition of the festival around the myth of Cain and Abel. The theme refers to the extremely popular poem “The Death of Abel” (La morte d’Abel) written by Metastasio in 1732. Since then, the piece has been used by composers approximately 40 times. The first piece of music based on the biblical motif was created by Antoni Caldara for the great castrato Farinelli, a personal friend of Metastasio. It was he who sang the part of Abel in the premiere performance in 1732.
Instead of the original oratorio by Caldara, the festival creatives have opted out for the version created by Pedro Antonio Avondano, a Portuguese composer of the Baroque era. On August 20, the Podlasie Opera in Białystok will stage the oratorio performed by Divino Sospiro, a formation established 20 years ago on the initiative of the Portuguese conductor and music director Massimo Mazzeo. The show will be the only festival event held outside of Supraśl. Its cast includes: Raquel Camarinha, Ana Vieira Leite, Valentina Varriale, Filippo Mineccia and Sergio Foresti. The absolute star of the evening will be countertenor Filippo Mineccia, born in Florence. The singer is considered one of the greatest specialists in the repertoire of the great castrato era. This will be the second performance of the talented artist in Poland during the current year. The audience had an opportunity to hear him in February, during the Opera Rara festival in Kraków.
Spread over four days, the festival events in Supraśl will include street happenings based on the Polish translation of the oratorio “The Death of Abel”, a concert of “Supraśl Canticles” performed by the choir of the Podlasie Opera and an outdoor theater and opera performance “Metastasiana” prepared by Michał Znaniecki. The program will be complemented by an international scientific conference devoted to Metastasio, film screenings and educational workshops. Importantly, the admission to all events held in Supraśl is free.
The “Metastasio without borders” festival is a collaboration of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok and Supraśl County Council. The detailed program of the festival can be found here: https://jutropera.com/metastasio-bez-granic/
The article was published on Orfeo website.