Next October Irish National Opera will present the first ever Irish performance of any of the operas written by one of the world’s best-loved composers, Antonio Vivaldi. Tom Creed’s new production of Vivaldi’s Griselda opens at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway on Saturday 12 October.
Creed’s approach to Griselda takes as its starting point the fact that our contemporary world is more like 18th-century Venice than we imagine, with our every move being watched and recorded. His new production will be full of Venetian intrigue, and at the same time draw on contemporary reference points — including House of Cards and The Crown — to bring these parallels to vivid life on stage.
Vivaldi, who was born in Venice in 1678 and died in Vienna in 1741, was nicknamed il Prete Rosso (the Red Priest) because of the colour of his hair. He was a musically prolific composer, virtuoso violinist and teacher who famously wrote compositions for an all-female music ensemble at the Ospedale della Pietà, a charitable home for orphans and abandoned girls which had been founded in Venice in the 14th century. Although he wrote over 500 concertos his music largely faded from view in the 19th century.