“Acis and Galatea” in Gartow
Handel’s ‘Prachtstueckchen’ in a rural idyll
Gartow –
The ballroom in the palace as a concert hall and opera house, the park as a social place for a sunny summer picnic and the young artists let the surrounding area ring with sound. Andreas Graf von Bernstorff makes of this idyll in the family castle Gartow (just behind Gorleben) – in addition to other concerts – a reality for merely one weekend a year. This time with a Baroque concerto and Handel’s first English operetta, “Acis and Galatea.”
The very small spaced but intelligently staged Baraoque drama became the consummate pleasure far above the level of superior-performance enthusiasts. Five great singers interpreted the game of love to the nymph Galatea, the shepherd Acis and the monster Polyphemus with passion and brilliant performances. Particularly outstanding was Simon Wallfisch’s tenor; slim and radiant, and moving, due to the ornamentation. Another impressive performance was Tobias Hagges, singing the bass part of Polyphemus; brutal, tender and helpless at the same time. Herdis Jonasdóttir Anna (soprano) sang soulfully, the nymph who loses her lover in battle with the monster. Uden Oliver (tenor), its rival, Damon, and Tasuku Ishizuka (countertenor), the Cupid.
The director George Kapodoglou cleverly depicted nature, which plays a central role, and visualized by a dancer (one of the highlights: Linda Weissig).
The seven musicians, led by Fausto Nardi, played on period instruments, and made Handel’s finely knit music flourish transparently. None of these details were lost to the 140 strong audience, and this gained the artists long and virtuous applause.
The people of Hamburg can rejoice!: On 6 November is the small, fine production a guest at the School of Music and Drama.

published on 18 August 2008, Hamburg ‘Abendblatt’

  • Local top of the Luechow-Dannenberg

    In the garden of emotions
    Fausto Nardi conducts Handel’s “Acis and Galatea”, directed by George Kapoglou in Gartoe
    Gartow. Perhaps it is the last aria of Galatea that one can read Handel’s opera “Acis and Galatea” most conclusively: “Heart, the seat of soft delight,” she sings, and turns her dead lover Acis with her “power divine” into in a stream,” like crystal flood “. It’s about love, it’s about nature.
    The soprano Norma Nahoun lets her voice float gently somewhere between melancholy and hope, Linda Weissig dances throughout, and the movement of flowing blue fabric creates a rising river on the stage. Metamorphosis, transformation – it is the central principle in “Acis and Galatea”, composed by George Frederick Handel in 1718 with a libretto by John Gay, Alexander Pope and John Hughes. The text is based “on Ovid’s” Metamorphosis. As part of the Castle Concerts at Gartow, the first version of the “Masque” sounded twice. On Sunday, a brilliant weekend ended with standing ovations. The final scene summed up the operetta. Again and again, an almost imperceptibly whole new mood was developed in the garden of emotions and in the texture of the music. The warm glow and subtlety in Norma Nahoun’s voice decorated “As when the dove laments love her” (followed by deserved applause).So follows the story of Acis and Galatea (sensitive, but sometimes a little too clinging: the tenor Goetz Phillip Koerner), the sparkling sung love duet “Happy we” The chorus “Wretched lovers” then takes on the usual mood of the duo, followed by a reversing of the affect, as a dark shadow appears amongst many voices: the voice of the “monster Polyphemus”.
    The bass Tobias Hagge sings the one-eyed giant, who desires Galatea. In his arias such as “I rage – I melt – I burn” he can bring the qualities of his distinctive voice to full advantage: energy, combined with precision. Great qualities that meet his representational ones: Polyphemus is indeed a monster, but also a bit strange. Or touching, and more gentle than it would seem, at the suggestion of Acis’ friend Damon (sung by the tenor Oliver Uden, mobile and expressive): a Baroque King Kong. One can only hear the counter-tenor Tasuku Ishizuka in the choruses – that he knows how to sing with his slender delicate voice is made clear in the arias that Ishizuka sang in the opera of the previous chamber concert. The soprano Anna Herdis Jonasdottir was to be experienced, as a subtle interpreter with sparkling wit who sung on Saturday, the Galatea. The ongoing transformation as a basic principle of the music of “Acis and Galatea” was worked, and vividly conducted by Fausto Nardi and the seven strong accompanying ensemble by means of subtle color announcement, floating dynamic changes and rhythmic sophistication. The staging of George Kapoglou follows the primacy of the subject change, denying any circumstance without ambiguity. The acting characters seemed to flow with each other. Galatea dancer of broad nature by Linda Weissig created in some places a unit, Acis and Polyphemus were also drawn as two sides of a coin. The multi-faceted music created vivid scenes, such as in the singing of the two rivals and Galatea trio ‘The flocks shall leave the mountains / Torture, fury, rage despair’. The wild gesture of the music ends in the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which forms the center of the stage design realized by Silvia Platzek – Acis, it is said by Ovid, was killed with one stone. In addition to the wall, the simple, but complex and varied ways to play issuing stage consists of six blocks that are painted during the opening chorus of soloists with the symbols and aspects of the topic. George Kapoglou’s guide uses the cube to fit constellations.
    The project is also an opportunity for the young artists of the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. Their patrons and sponsors included the local Sparkasse, the Lotto Foundation, the Regional Association of Lueneburg and the knights of the Principality of Lueneburg.
    Image: Haendel’s opera “Acis and Galatea” was to be experienced this weekend at Castle Gartow. Nahoun Norma (soprano) and Philip Goetz Koerner (tenor) sang the main roles on Sunday. 3 Rec. T. Janssen