Il viaggio a Reims
Il viaggio a Reims
by Gioachino Rossini
At a glamourous spa hotel, the guests are preparing a journey, which will take them to the coronation festivities in Reims, but this is easier said than done in Rossini’s hilarious opera classic
Now let us be honest: None of the well-to-do guests in Rossini’s comic opera are going to make it to Reims for the royal coronation. In fact, this high-class gathering is not going anywhere at all. First, there are no horses to pull the carriages, and then there is the small matter of having a going-away party, and then…
That was the setting in Rossini's original piece. With the italian director Damiano Michieletto we find ourselves, at an extravagant art gallery, present day. Gallery owner Madama Cortese and her staff are trying to get the gallery ready for the opening of a grand exhibition.
However, nothing is ready, the place looks like a construction site, and the curating process is thrown into complete confusion as figures from the paintings step out of their frames to interact with staff and visitors, wandering around the gallery.
Il viaggio a Reims is conspicuous in its absence of anything resembling a plot. Nevertheless, the comic opera is one of the most amusing works in the repertoire. Il viaggio a Reims demands a large ensemble of singers with a twinkle in their eyes and naturally an orchestra ready to take on Rossini’s music, which is sparkling and lively as champagne.
Rossini’s comic opera exudes curiosity and nostalgic longing for the harmony of a bygone era amidst the turbulent historical context of the composer’s lifetime.
Damiano Michieletto – who staged the Reumert Award-winning 2012 production of Puccini’s Il trittico – is one of the most interesting and exciting young opera directors of our time. His style is aesthetically pleasing and modern, and it is blended with a deep respect for the original work and a sense for making the classics relevant to contemporary audiences.
Performed in Italian with Danish supertitles.