HANDEL Il Trionfo del Tempo, Luzern 22.XII.2021

HANDEL Il Trionfo del Tempo oder die Vermessung der Schönheit

LUZERN Theatre Wednesday 22 December 2021 8pm

Tania Lorenzo, soprano

Ziad Nehme, tenor

Thomas Douglas, moderator

Tini Prüfert, moderator

Il Profondo

Musikalische Leitung: Andrés Locatelli 

Regie: Anna-Sophie Mahler 

Bühne und Kostüme: Sophie Krayer 

Licht: Marc Hostettler 

Sounddesign: Michael Anklin , Marcel Babazadeh 

Dramaturgie: Talisa Walser

all photos: Manuela Jans

          The Luzern theater scheduled this month an unexpected version of the oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo by Handel. Well, everything was unusual, strange, daring, innovative, unconventional and disorienting in this production. To start with, people had to wait in the theatre main entrance until they realized that the performance would not take place at the theater. In fact, an usher took the audience outside the building, crossed the theater square towards a big box. Once inside, people were asked to sit all around the stage, which actually looked like a kind of TV studio (three blue round podiums) with two moderators inviting the audience to some special experiments. A smiling young lady was sitting there connected to some electric strings, all dressed in a yellowish fluorescent dress. Four people were chosen from the audience and were invited to take a special seat to experience some experiments. They were connected to an electric string via one of their fingers, a way to measure their pulse, which could be visualized through a large screen at the back of the stage, showing moving colour frequencies going up and down. Everything was explained in German and unfortunately we were unable to understand what was going on here and what was the aim of this experimental show. Well, a lot of talking (about 55mn) and little music on the whole (about 25mn). 

           Concerning the music, and from the little we could hear, we can say that both singers (while we expected 4) were quite interesting and mostly good. Tania Lorenzo as Belezza had a full rich easy beautiful voice. She convincingly sang these arias "Se la belezza", "Lascia la spina" and "Tu del ciel". Actually both singers had no specific role but sang arias from the 4 allegorical characters. 

We do hope to hear her soon in a full handeIian role.

          Ziad Nehme, tenor, was simply amazing and surprised everyone. His tenor singing was powerful, but soft at the same time, and could reach the high notes easily, a pleasure to listen to. Well, soon after his aria……., one could hear a countertenor voice coming out of the darkness, and everyone expected to see a new singer showing up, but instead the same Ziad Nehme was now singing in the range of countertenor. The surprise was palpable among the audience. The artist´s singing was absolutely convincing and bluffing. How talented! Though one could feel he was a bit less at ease as a countertenor than as a tenor, he could sing beautifully the only alto aria of the evening: …….. Certainly a one shot experience as a countertenor for this production and not a professional career with two voices as some other artists did like Lasckowski or do like Terry Wey (both countertenors and tenors). 

          Both soloists were singing so loud at times (which was not so necessary in such a small venue) that the sound tended to get distorted.  

          Actually both moderators had much more to do in this show than the two singers. As for the orchestra Il Fondamento, its few members had to often move while playing (without score) or play in the dark. 

           Well, we expected a regular performance of Il Trionfo del Tempo, and we are sorry not to have quite understood the concept of this show because of the language. It was also a bit frustrating to get so little Handel music but the aim of this experiment must have been something else.