Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Opera by Claudio Monteverdi

From CHF 17.-
Mon 27 Feb19:30
Tue 28 Feb19:30
Thu 2 Mar19:30
Fri 3 Mar19:30
Sun 5 Mar15:00
Tue 7 Mar19:30
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
Duration: approx. 2h45 with one intermission

*«Glam Night»

Musical Director Fabio Biondi
Stage Direction and scenography FC Bergman
Costumes Mariel Manuel
Lighting Designer Ken Hioco
Dramaturgy Luc Joosten
Musical direction assistant Luca Quintavalle
Scenography assistant Luc Galle
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Ulisse / L’humana Fragilità Mark Padmore
Penelope Sara Mingardo
Telemaco Jorge Navarro Colorado
Melanto / Cupid Julieth Lozano
Eumete Mark Milhofer
Eurimaco Omar Mancini
Ericlea Elena Zilio
Giunone / La Fortnua / Minerva Giuseppina Bridelli
Nettuno Jérôme Varnier
Giove Denzil Delaere
Anfinomo Sahy Ratia
Pisandro Vince Yi
Antinoo / Il Tempo William Meinert

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Ensemble Europa Galante

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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

Check out all the various events connected with the production.

Thursday, February 16 at 6:30PM

About Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
News alert! Save the date: Fabio Biondi is offering us a solo concert at the Grand Théâtre de Genève! For the greatest pleasure of our ears, carte blanche to the master who will perform Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with his ensemble Europa Galante.
Programme to come
Thursday, February 16, 2023
At 6:30 PM
CHF 25.–
First drink included (except cocktails and champagne)
In the foyer of the GTG


Public Workshop
Saturday, February 18 at 11AM

Baroque quiz
Public workshop about Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria by Claudio Monterverdi
Led by Jonas Descotte, director of the baroque ensemble Les Argonautes, a soprano and a lute player.
During this public workshop, follow Jonas Descotte as he takes you on a musical journey through Europe in the time of Montervedi. During this question and answer game, you will discover the composer of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, his contemporaries, the instruments and the repertoire of his time, accompanied by a soprano and a lute player.
Saturday, February 18 2023
From 11AM to 12:30PM
From 12 years old
Entry CHF 15.–
In the Grand Foyer of the Grand Théâtre de Genève


Saturday, February 18 at 6PM

Cinéopéra, as both a tribute to and a discovery of the silver screen, where four opera and ballet greats who will be on stage with us this season choose their favorite film to view and discuss.
For this third event of the season, the Cinémas du Grütli welcome the Belgian collective FC Bergman to present Mario Camerini’s Ulysse (1954).
Saturday, February 18, 2023
At 6PM
At the Cinémas du Grütli de l’Espérance

more infos

Thursday, February 23 at 6:30PM

LE RETOUR D’ULYSSE : Vingt ans après, comment se retrouver ?
Une conférence présentée par Pierre Michot en collaboration avec l’Association genevoise des amis de l’opéra et du ballet et le Cercle Romand Richard Wagner.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
At the Théâtre de l’Espérance

> access
more infos

En coulisse
Sunday, March 5

Haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like on the other side, when the curtain falls on a performance? How does all the technical machinery work? What do the stagehands have to do to get things back into working order? Or maybe just bump into one of the stars of the show?
So let us raise the curtain on all this for you. With every production, we give our patrons an opportunity to come backstage with us, raise their eyes to the flies and take a good look at what’s behind the sets. It may be dark in the wings but there’s a whole lot going on there! And because it’s a really busy place, we can’t really do this more than once per performance run. You will need to book your visit beforehand, so don’t delay!
A member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
After the March 5 performance, a member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
The “En coulisse” tour lasts about 20 minutes, starts 15 minutes after the performance, is free of charge on prior reservation with our box office service by email [email protected].

45 minutes before the performance

45 minutes before the bells call you into the house, it’s time to refresh your memory and go back to the beginnings of the opera: we offer a brief introduction to remind you what the work is all about and what kind of magical, apocalyptic, critical or hyper-realistic worlds the people behind the production have in store for you. Lickety-split, there’s just enough time to grab some bubbly before you take your seats under the star-studded ceiling of a thousand and one operas!
45 minutes before each performance
Free admittance with performance tickets
Foyer of the GTG


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


On Thursday, March 2, 2023, for one night, dress up, put on your most beautiful, extravagant or glamorous clothes and you rush to the show and the after gala that follows! It’s rare, it’s festive, it’s Glam Night.

More infos coming soon