Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Opera by Claudio Monteverdi

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
Opera by Claudio Monteverdi

Libretto by Giacomo Badoaro
First performed in 1640 at the Teatro San Giovanni e Paolo in Venice
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 2005-2006

27, 28 February, 2*, 3 and 7 March 2023 – 7.30pm
5 March 2023 – 3pm
Tickets go on sale November 1, 2022

*«Glam Night»

Musical Director Fabio Biondi
Stage Director and scenography FC Bergman
Costumes Mariel Manuel
Lighting Designer Ken Hioco
Dramaturgy Luc Joosten
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Ulisse / Human Frailty Mark Padmore
Penelope Sara Mingardo
Telemaco Jorge Navarro Colorado
Melanto / Cupid Julieth Lozano
Eumete Mark Milhofer
Eurimaco Omar Mancini
Ericlea Elena Zilio
Pisandro Sahy Ratia
Anfinomo Vince Yi
Giunone / Fortune / Minerva Giuseppina Bridelli
Giove Denzil Delaere
Nettuno Jérôme Varnier

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Ensemble Europa Galante

In co-production with Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg

Sponsored by


Now that we can hope to sail a little more serenely, we will be able to complete the last episode of the Monteverdi trilogy that Iván Fischer briefly began for us. After L’Orfeo and Poppea, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, the least known of Claudio Monteverdi’s three surviving operas, will complete the journey by taking us to Ithaca. The work has suffered from being rediscovered in modern times in the form of an incomplete manuscript score, and the authenticity of this Monteverdian “ugly duckling” was long doubted. However, the composer’s hallmark can be seen in the variety of the opera’s musical styles: the fashionable forms of the arioso, duets and ensembles rub shoulders with the declamatory recitatives of the seconda prattica developed in L’Orfeo. With rare eloquence, he develops the personalities, feelings and emotions of the many characters, both divine and human, to produce the most tender and moving part of the triptych. After his long journey back from Troy, Ulysses finally returns to Ithaca, where a trio of malevolent suitors are pestering his faithful wife, Penelope. The man of many devices faces his ultimate challenge: to make constancy and virtue triumph over treachery and deceit. After Purcell’s retake of the Aeneid retaken in turn by Peeping Tom, we needed another famous and wacky Belgian drama collective to deal with the Odyssey. Founded in 2008, FC Bergman quickly made a name for itself with its anarchistic, slightly chaotic, but highly evocative and poetic theatrical language. Through an ingenious interweaving of film and theatre, acting and stunning stage design, they tell the story, sometimes without words, of a world where humans struggle in vain against the windmills of their existence. The subject of Ulysses, repeatedly shipwrecked on his way home, seems to be just the thing for this group, which brings together, according to one critic, “the mystical naturalism of Romeo Castellucci, the melancholic absurdism of Christoph Marthaler, and the dancing dynamics of Pina Bausch.” Their first operatic escapade Les Pêcheurs de perles in 2018, was a big hit in Antwerp, Luxembourg and Lille. It is only logical that the continuation of this fantastic odyssey should take place in Geneva. After being game for an in-depth rereading of Mozart’s Seraglio, Fabio Biondi returns to Geneva, this time with his ensemble Europa Galante, for an interpretation of The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland that we hope will arouse just as much passions… Heading the large cast of specialists in the title role, the charismatic English tenor well known to Baroque music fans, Mark Padmore, and as Penelope, the dazzling Sara Mingardo, an unforgettable Neris in Medea at the GTG in 2015.





Ulisse at La Plage

Apéropéra 16.2.2023
Public Workshop 18.2.2023
Cinéopéra 18.2.2023
Brunch 19.2.2023
Conference 23.2.2023
En coulisse 5.3.2023
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance
FC Bergman at la Comédie de Genève


Season 22-23

Opera, ballet, La Plage, … Find the complete programme of the new season.
Migrating Worlds
Introduction, artist interviews, explanations… everything you need to know and understand about the new GTG programme.
Season ticket

Get a season ticket

Treat yourself to the emotion of a season and get guaranteed the best seats, at the best price, in all categories!

Find out about our 2022-2023 season tickets offers.


The entire GTG universe. Here, there, everywhere.

Stay connected with the GTG

Ma Newsletter

Légende photo
Les Peshmerga tiennent des positions de première ligne dans et autour du village arabe de Nawafel. Irak, 2015
© Paolo Pellegrin