Today, the Dutch National Opera and Ballet presents the world première of Ritratto, an opera composed by Willem Jeths with a libretto by Frank Siera.
It is the composer's second opera after Hôtel de Pékin - dreams for a dragon queen (Enschede, 2008).
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. (reproduced from the Dutch National Opera website)
The cast includes soprano Verity Wingate (Luisa Casati), mezzo Polly Leech (Romaine Brooks), tenor Paride Cataldo (Gabriele d'Annunzio), baritone Martin Mkhize (Garbi), tenor Gerben van der Werf (Sergei Diaghilev), countertenor Lucas van Lierop (Man Ray) and baritone Dominic Kraemer (Kees van Dongen). Geoffrey Paterson conducts the Residentie Orkest Den Haag. Marcel Sijm directs.
The performance should last about 90 minutes (no interval). It was supposed to take place on March 13 but was postponed because of the Covid pandemic.