Is it permissible to make martyrdom the subject of an opera? In the 1830s, Italian censors answered with a resounding "No", prompting Gaetano Donizetti to switch to France and enlist the help of librettist Eugène Scribe to publish the opera he was planning, "Poliuto", as a grand opéra. Under the title "Les Martyrs" the work received its premiere in Paris in 1840 and included, among other things, a ballet scene, an innovative score structure that presaged the music-drama form, and a spectacularly reworked tenor part. In the days of the persecution of Christians in Armenia in Late Antiquity, a young woman is caught not just between two religions, but also between her husband and her former lover. Personal turmoil and ideological upheavals collide in an opera that risks the bold contrast between Italian bel canto and French Romanticism. In his production, director Cezary Tomaszewski concentrates on the tragic history of the country in which the action is set: Armenia.
In French with German and English surtitles
Introduction to the work 30 minutes before curtain-up
Introductory matinee: Sun 03.09, 11h
Exhibition: No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection
20.04.2023 to 28.01.2024 - Kunsthalle Wien