Enrique Arriaga explains that this production "will take us to a chessboard with castles and dragons"



Auditorio de Tenerife presents the opera Rinaldo adapted as a fantasy show for the family audience. The show details were announced by the island's Minister of Culture, Enrique Arriaga; the stage director, Stefania Panighini and the musical director, Giovanni Paganelli. In addition to the performances on Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th of April, which are already sold out, an extraordinary session has been organised that will be attended by 210 schoolchildren from schools in Santa Cruz, La Laguna and Arafo. 

As Arriaga assured, "opera as a genre leaves no one indifferent, and we add spectators with each performance". "This production by the Auditorio de Tenerife will take us to a life-size chess board with castles and dragons," said the minister, who considers that the cultural proposal of the Island Council is "a synonym of safety". Finally, Mr Arriaga wished "that all those who come to see the performances really enjoy this family event".

Stefania Panighini declared that "considering the health situation we are experiencing, it is very important to be working in this production because Spain is one of the few European countries that has continued to work internationally". The stage director also said that, "in the case of Italy, the theatres were closed in November and have not reopened yet. That is a long time without work and culture". "Children were the great ignored in this pandemic, as we took a year off their leisure lives. This production is focused on children and on their emotions," explained Panighini, who returned to work in Tenerife after Hänsel und Gretel (2019) and Rinaldo (2016).

Giovanni Paganelli agreed with Enrique Arriaga's statement, adding that "opera does not leave you indifferent because it speaks of our life, of everyone's life". The maestro analysed that "this baroque opera covers many emotions: humour, astonishment, nostalgia, the will to transgress and the most beautiful cry for freedom that can exist in the opera world: when Almirena was taken prisoner and sings Lascia ch'io pianga, she shows that they might be able to control her body but never her desire for freedom". "I've seen one-year-old children thrilled by this moment, moved by the energy of music composed more than 300 years ago," Paganelli said.

Produced by Opera de Tenerife, Rinaldo was premièred in 2016 and scheduled to be performed again in April 2020. However, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Leo Martínez designed the costumes in steampunk aesthetics, and Hugo Carugatti is in charge of the lighting. 

The voices that will embody these fantasy characters will be: mezzo-soprano Aurora Faggioli (Rinaldo, the knight), sopranos Beatriz de Sousa (Almirena, Goffredo's daughter) and Gloria Giurgola (Armida, sorceress), mezzo-soprano Silvia Zorita (Goffredo, Christian captain), baritone Pablo Gálvez (Argante, king of Jerusalem) and tenor Jorge Franco (Eustazio, Goffredo's brother).

The framework of this story is a fantasy chessboard. The evil sorceress Armida abducts Almirena, daughter of King Goffredo, to distract her betrothed Rinaldo, a famous knight. Fiery battles, spells and beautiful melodies such as the famous Lascia ch'io pianga make this show to be an experience for all audiences.

This three-act Baroque opera is one of Handel's best known. The Italian libretto by Giacomo Rossi is inspired by the poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Torquato Tasso). It was premiered on 24 February 1711 at the Queen's Theatre in Haymarket, London.

Opera de Tenerife's family programme offers lyrical titles adapted to the youngest ones to be enjoyed by a family audience. The initiative thus reinforces Opera de Tenerife's commitment to creating new audiences and raising awareness of the performing arts.

Each year one performance is chosen and adapted to a format lasting approximately 70 minutes. Reducing the time neither means limiting the expression nor the author's original message, which is reinforced by the information material delivered to the audience when entering the hall.