Prize for Opera 2018
Il Primo Omicidio © Evergon, Blurred Man, 1990 i
The murder of Abel by his brother Cain is one of those subjects that fascinated a century preoccupied with theological matters. That first murder was to engender all humanity and cast the ambiguous figure of Cain in the role of the father of civilization. In the wake of Moses und Aron, stage director Romeo Castellucci returns to the Paris Opera with this oratorio, exploring its metaphysical dimension and the role of evil within the divine plan. Scarlatti’s music evokes the theme of fratricide with great tenderness, “like a bloom of sickness”. A master of the Baroque repertoire, René Jacobs has contributed to unearthing a number of forgotten treasures, among which is this rare Primo Omicidio, performed here for the first time at the Paris Opera.
Brief project description by the stage director:
“Il Primo Omicidio is a quite unknown oratorio that allows me to work on the world of ideas. We really are immersed in a theological dimension, so it’s a bit like going back to the theme of Moses und Aron. We stay in the Old Testament, where it all begins. It’s an opportunity to think about the meaning of the mystery of Evil, because it looks like Evil is God’s project. In Scarlatti’s oratorio, it really is like a flame, precisely because we are at the origin of the fault, the guilt, and I would say, of the art too. We are so close to the origin that all of it burns, is capable to move us, to a certain extent. Working on unknown operas is at my advantage, because it allows me to breakdown stereotypes and our expectations. However, the thematic is mythological and universal. It gives another possibility, a kind of dual effect that allows me to work in the deepest manner. Religion is unsurpassable. It is one of the deepest structure of the human spirit. It is not a personal matter, not at all but it is in the fiber of our society, even more today, in our perhaps neurotic ways. It is something that had faded away and that comes back in a hysterical and neurotic form. (...)"
Il Primo Omicidio will be a highlight in the celebrations organized by the Paris National Opera for the 350th anniversary of the French Royal Academy of Music. The rediscovery of this opera, created in 1707, is entrusted to exceptional artists. Romeo Castellucci, the internationally renowned director, famous for his pioneering work, will collaborate with René Jacobs, a well-known conductor specialized in the Baroque repertoire. Silvia Costa, young director and performer, will complete this creative team. Under Romeo Castellucci and René Jacobs’ direction, singers from various backgrounds, nationalities and experiences will be gathered on stage. Besides, at the Paris Opera, the invited Orchestra will be the B’Rock Orchestra, a new musical ensemble created in 2005 to gather international musicians to perform a Baroque repertoire. Thus Il Primo Omicidio will gather a talented and international artistic team whose strength is based on diversity and complementarity.
Stage director & Head of staging concept design
Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin
Teatro Massimo of Palermo