Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria

On the island of Ithaca, Penelope has been waiting twenty years for the return of her husband Odysseus. The Trojan War is over, but Odysseus hasn’t come home yet. The chances of him returning alive are dwindling every day. For Penelope, time has come to a standstill. While everyone around her lives on, she refuses to resign to the fact that her husband may never return.

 

Il Ritorno d’Ulisse is one of the oldest operas surviving from the 17th century. Yet the work is strikingly modern – perhaps even timeless. Text and music merge in a musical drama that is playful, direct, and full of contrasts. In his composition, Monteverdi ingeniously draws a layered picture of mourning, self-deception, despair and love.

 

With a casts of students of Dutch National Opera Academy, Mart directed a new adaptation of this opera by Elena Kats-Chernin, that was first performed in 2012 at the Komische Oper. Her version leaves only a small role for the gods. No abstract mythology, but a story about real people of flesh and blood, about their relationships and their deepest fears and desires. This version of I Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria is set in the grey area between life and death, hope and despair, leaving and returning, comedy and tragedy.

© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos
© Reinout Bos

“The stage direction employs a broad, shameless theatricality that grants wings to the performance.”

Theaterkrant

"DNOA brings a surprising Ulisse"

Operamagazine

"Against a backdrop of draped white cloths, the suitors create a comical scene."

Volkskrant

"More humans and less gods in this Odysseus-opera"

NRC