a new opera by Willem Jeths

Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs the orchestral parts in this new opera that was inspired by the extravagant Luisa Casati and her motto: ‘I want to be a living work of art’.

do 19 maart 2020 • Internationaal Theater Amsterdam - Rabozaal, Amsterdam - 20.30 uur

Ritratto - Willem Jeths

Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Geoffrey Paterson musical director

Frank Siera libretto
Marcel Sijm stage director
Marc Warning set designer
Jan Taminiau costume designer
Alex Brok lighting designer
Klaus Bertisch dramaturgy

Julietta Aleksanyan Luisa Casati
Polly Leech Romaine Brooks
Martin Mkhize Garbi
Lucas van Lierop Sergei Diaghilev
Cameron Shahbazi Man Ray
Frederik Bergman Jacob Epstein
Dominic Kramer Kees van Dongen

Luisa Casati Stampa di Soncino (1881–1957) led a life of wealth and extravagance in high-society Paris, Venice and Rome, where she surrounded herself with prominent artists, following her motto: ‘I want to be a living work of art’. She had a turbulent relationship with Gabriele d’Annunzio, Léon Bakst designed exotic dresses for her, and she commissioned countless portraits of herself by artists including Kees van Dongen, Filippo Marinetti, Man Ray, Romaine Brooks and Giovanni Boldini.

The inspiration for Willem Jeths’ third opera, Ritratto (‘Portrait’), was Luisa Casati. One life-size portrait of her by Giovanni Boldini was included in the exhibition High Society at the Rijksmuseum (2018) and a whole show in Venice was dedicated to portraits of her. The world première of this opera will be at the International Theatre Amsterdam, during the Opera Forward Festival.

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