Idomeneo, re di Creta
The wave of your existence breaks; forgive
The timid song, the most forsaken love
That scatters from the fool’s hushed lips.
Infos & Cast
Infos & Cast
Dramma per musica by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Giambattista Varesco
First performed on 29 January 1781 in Munich
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in 2003-2004
New production in co-production with Dutch National Opera Amsterdam and Théâtres de la ville de Luxembourg
21, 23, 29 February & 2 March 2024 — 7:30PM
25 February 2024 — 3PM
27 February 2024 — 7PM
Sung in Italian with French and English surtitles
Duration: approx. 3h with one intermission*
Musical Director Leonardo García Alarcón
Stage Director / Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Set Designer Chiharu Shiota
Costumes Designer Yuima Nakazato
Lighting Designer Michael Bauer
Dramaturgy Simon Hatab
Artistic collaborator on the set design Cristina Nyffeler
Choir Director Mark Biggins
Idomeneo, King of Crete Bernard Richter
Idamante, his son Lea Desandre
Elettra, daughter of Agamemnon Federica Lombardi
Ilia, Trojan princess, daughter of Priam Giulia Semenzato
Arbace, confidant of the king Omar Mancini
High Priest of Neptune Luca Bernard
Oracle William Meinert
Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Orchestra composed of Cappella Mediterranea and L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève
With dancers from the Ballet du Grand Théâtre and Eastman
Partner of contemporary art at the opera
Partner of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre
Patron for the Cappella Mediterranea
*Duration is indicative and subject to change
Beginning in 2019 with Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, followed by Lully’s Atys in 2022, the Grand Théâtre de Genève’s cruise through the rarely sailed waters of opera-ballet under the baton of Leonardo García Alarcón continues with this new production whose captain is none other than the director of the Geneva Ballet, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. And to keep lining up the maritime metaphors, he will be steering his course towards Idomeneo, written for the court of the Elector of Bavaria by a young man of 25, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. An opera built, so to speak, around a terrible storm at sea, the result of the struggle between the god of the oceans Neptune, who favours the king of Crete Idomeneo on his return from the Trojan War, and Fate, who opposes him.
Fate, or as it is otherwise known in other parts, notably in the cultural waters of East Asia where Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui likes to cast his nets, karma. One of the terms used for karma, 箵 in Chinese yuan and in Japanese en, contains the silk thread radical 糸 and can also mean the border or hem of a garment. Thread and its avatars – ropes, cables, laces and tethers – are the trademark of Japanese visual artist Chiharu Shiota, who will design the sets for this production. The threads she uses are red ones, a red thread being a powerful karmic talisman in Japan and East Asia. With these threads, she weaves performances, body art and installations in a protean process exploring temporality, movement, memory and dreams, that demand mental and physical involvement from the viewer.
Chiharu Shiota and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will muster the forces of the Geneva Ballet, joined by Cherkaoui’s Eastman company along with soloists, to activate a monumental set where the red threads will form a palace, a raging ocean, a garden or a sea monster in continuous movement. Three stories are intertwined: a love triangle between Idomeneo’s son, Idamante, the Trojan princess Ilia and the princess of Argos, Elettra; the duel between a father traumatised by the Trojan war, and his son who seeks appeasement and reconciliation; and finally, as mentioned, the confrontation between the gods and human destiny. With Bernard Richter in the title role, Lea Desandre as his son Idamante, Federica Lombardi as Elettra and Giulia Semenzato as Ilia, the Grand Théâtre brings together a quartet of high-flying soloists who, under the direction of Leonardo García Alarcón, will make for a stellar performance, accompanied by García Alarcón’s own Cappella Mediterranea, whose ranks will be augmented for the occasion by the musicians of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.
Idomeneo at La Plage
Check out all the various events connected with the production.
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
Thursday, February 8 at 6:30PM
Mozart was only 24 when he composed Idomeneo, re di Creta in 1780, but he already had a wealth of work behind him. In this special ‘early Mozart’ apéropera, soprano Gwendoline Blondeel and the musicians of the Cappella Mediterranea ensemble will take you on an encounter with the music of Wolfgang’s early years, from the first operas to the Divertimento for three and the aria. A must-see!
Gwendoline Blondeel, soprano
Jesus Larez, violin
Karolina Plywaczewska, cello
Adrià Gràcia Gàlvez, piano
Thursday, February 8 at 6:30PM
Entrance fee CHF 25.-
First drink included (except cocktails and champagne)
At the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Saturday, February 10 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 the third event of the season, Cinémas du Grütli present Prova d’orchestra (1978) by Federico Fellini, presented by Leonardo García Alarcón, conductor of Idomeneo, re di Creta.
Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 6PM
At the Cinémas du Grütli
> MORE INFOS
Tuesday, February 13 at 6:30PM
IDOMÉNÉE – Raison et sentiments à l’âge des Lumières
Une conférence de Marie Favre
Troie n’est plus que cendres ; depuis plusieurs années, la guerre est perdue pour les soldats de Priam et les Grecs, vainqueurs, ont regagné leurs fiefs, emmenant avec eux les descendants des héros troyens. Cette génération d’exilés, héritiers d’un conflit qui n’est pas le leur, est au cœur du livret de ce fougueux Idomeneo, re di Creta, mis en musique par un Mozart de 25 ans.
La mythologie classique permet au jeune artiste d’interroger la nécessaire question de la liberté, liberté de penser, liberté d’aimer, fondant ainsi une œuvre dont les résonances ne sont pas sans rappeler les grands questionnements de la philosophie des Lumières, alors en plein essor.
En collaboration avec l’Association genevoise des amis de l’opéra et du ballet. Une mise en bouche qui vous révélera tous les secrets de l’œuvre.
Mardi 13 février 2024
Au Théâtre de l’Espérance
> plan d’accès
Prix d’entrée :
Gratuit pour les membres de l’association, les Ami-e-s du Grand Théâtre et les jeunes de moins de 30 ans
Non membre : CHF 15.-
AVS et chômage : CHF 10.-
> PLUS D’INFO
Saturday, February 17 at 11AM
About Idomeneo : discovery and singing workshop
The Grand Théâtre de Genève and Cappella Mediterranea are pleased to join together for a public workshop about Idomeneo.
Through a series of arias performed by soprano Mariana Silva, conductor and harpsichordist Adrià Gracià Gàlvez, and violinist Pablo Manuel Agudo López, enter the Mozartean aesthetic and discover the work of Idomeneo.
These musicians will also reveal the secrets of baroque instruments and the lyric voice. At the end of the workshop, it’s your turn to sing!
Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 11AM
From 12 years and over, accompanied by an adult
CHF 15 / CHF 10 for young people
At the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Places are limited!
Sunday, February 25
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 February 25 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].
Stay connected with the GTG
Cover © GTG / Marc Asekhame
Idomeneo © GTG / Magali Dougados
Idomeneo © GTG / Filip Van Roe