• October 2019
  • Nationwide Tour

Griselda

High jinks in high places from the master of the Four Seasons. First time in Ireland. An opera by Vivaldi. Griselda. The complications of royal marriage. A commoner become Queen. A King obsessed with testing her virtue. The brilliance of Venice’s most famous composer brought to the opera stage.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time is 2hrs 30mins including an interval of 20 minutes.

“Griselda is one of Vivaldi’s greatest masterpieces: feel-good music that bursts with Italianate primary colours...it is the touching, heart-on-sleeve pathos of some of the slow arias which will most surprise listeners new to this music.” - Conductor, Peter Whelan
“a shocking story of a wilful king who rejects his low-born wife in an act of political manoeuvering, Griselda is a musically rich and psychologically astute work” - New York Times
“a commanding stage presence as well as an ever-flexible singer” - Opera Magazine on Katie Bray
“a light, flexible and remarkably warm tenor.” - Bachtrack on Jorge Navarro Colorad
“She appears to be comfortable in each range of her register, and navigates the weaving lines of this Baroque collection flawlessly.” - GoldenPlec on Raphaela Mangan

WITH THE IRISH BAROQUE ORCHESTRA

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Synopsis

PART 1

The people of Thessaly are revolting and Gualtiero, the king, is struggling to placate them. He has come to the conclusion that the queen, Griselda, originally a woman from a much lower social class, is at the root of their unhappiness. To quell the rebellion he announces that he’s going to divorce her and marry somebody from a class the people consider more appropriate. He has doubts about whether he can go through with this but he convinces himself to stay the course. Ottone is in love with Griselda, and takes advantage of the situation to make a move on Griselda in her moment of weakness. Griselda rebuffs her and Ottone is knocked back by this rejection, but only temporarily. Costanza, who is to marry Gualtiero and become the new queen, arrives with her boyfriend Roberto in tow. She is having second thoughts about the wedding, and can’t bear the idea of being separated from Roberto, but he tries to reassure her that she will get used to her new situation. Surprisingly, Gualtiero invites Roberto to stay in the palace to keep Costanza company. She is confused by this turn of events and Roberto tries to contain his sighs of love for her. Corrado, who works in the palace and seems to know everthing that is going on, urges Griselda to leave for her own good, but Griselda refuses until she gets to see her son Everardo, who has been taken away from her and is being kept elsewhere in the palace. Corrado shows Griselda that Everardo is safe, and Ottone offers to reunite Griselda with her son, but Griselda again rejects Ottone’s advances. Ottone is furious and rushes off to hide Everardo from her once again. Corrado tries to reassure Griselda that everything will work out in the end. With Griselda overcome by fear and desperation, Ottone offers to give Griselda her child back if she agrees to marry Ottone. Griselda rejects Ottone a third time and challenges her to go on and kill the child. Corrado interrupts them but appears to side with Ottone. Ottone swears to having Griselda for herself, even if she has to resort to violent means.

PART 2

Costanza pleads with Roberto to leave her alone – she can’t stop thinking about him and is afraid the king will find them together. She is torn between her two partners, between love and loyalty. Griselda is exhausted from her grief, wandering beneath the palace. She dreams of her daughter who was taken from her many years ago. Costanza stumbles upon her sleeping place, and the two women feel a strange attraction to each other that they can’t quite understand. Griselda discovers that this woman is her husband’s new bride, and also has the same name, Costanza, as her long-lost daughter. When the king finds the two women together, Costanza convinces him to allow Griselda to live in the palace as her companion and servant. Gualtiero reveals that Griselda is his former wife, but Costanza is still full of compassion for her. Corrado brings the news that Ottone has gathered an army and has marched on the palace to abduct Griselda. Griselda implores Gualtiero to protect her but he rejects her pleas and declares that she must be abandoned to her fate. Ottone overpowers Griselda, but Gualtiero then turns the tables on Ottone and accuses her of treason, which must be punished. Griselda resigns herself to her new life as a servant in the palace. Griselda discovers Costanza and Roberto in an embrace and is appalled that Costanza is cheating on her new husband before the wedding has even taken place, but Gualtiero insists that Costanza is free to take whatever lovers she wishes, and Griselda must turn a blind eye to her infidelities. Gualtiero surprises Ottone with the news that Ottone will be free to marry Griselda once Gualtiero and Costanza are married. Ottone is convinced that she will finally get what she deserves. Gualtiero is overcome with a range of emotions at the cruelty he has inflicted on Griselda as his plan nears its climax. Griselda is forced to arrange the wedding of her husband to his new wife. Gualtiero announces that Ottone’s reward is to marry Griselda, but Griselda declares she would rather die than marry Ottone, and challenges Gualtiero to kill her himself. Gualtiero is overcome by compassion and abruptly brings Griselda’s trials to an end. He declares to the people that Griselda has shown how worthy she is to be queen, and restores her to the throne. Roberto and Costanza are told that they can be married, and Ottone realises she has been set up. After everything that has happened, nobody can be sure how things are going to work out in the end.

Media Gallery

Sinéad O'Kelly sings Dopo un'orrida procella

Videos

Griselda

Ho il cor gia lacero

Vivaldi's Griselda