Editorial Mondigromax

La Cuzzoni

La Cuzzoni. Esperpent d’una veu
(La Cuzzoni. Sperpent of one voice)
Agustí Charles

La Cuzzoni

La Cuzzoni. Esperpent d’una veu

Chamber opera

Composition: Agustí Charles
Libretto: Marc Rosich
Year of composition: 2007
Duration: 80 min.
Language: Catalan

Commission: Festival Òpera de Butxaca i Nova Creació Festival, FOBNC, Barcelona

World premiere: October 12, 2007 at the Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany


La Cuzzoni is an opera of dramatic content: a cruel and forceful portrait of this stone-broke old glory who returns to London to give a concert for charity… but charity for whom?

The shining career of Francesca Cuzzoni begins when Händel discovers her and brings her into the Royal Academy of Music. Her talent and character turn her into a legendary diva, while he real fame comes to her in Europe in 1727 when, in the middle of a performance in the King’s Theatre in London, she gets into a fight with Faustina Bordoni.


Score La Cuzzoni. Esperpent d’una veu . 193 pages. Editorial Mondigromax

La Cuzzoni. Esperpent d’una veu 

April 5 & 6, 2008
Teatro Albeniz, Madrid, Spain

November 9 & 10, 2007
Sala Tete Montoliu. L’Auditori. Barcelona


Musical Direction: Tobias Engeli
Stage Direction: Alfonso Romero

Performers: Soloists of the Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany

La Cuzzoni when old: Gerson Luiz Sales (Countertenor)
La Cuzzoni when young: Sonja Gerlach (Soprano)
Charles Burney: Werner Volker Meyer (Baritone)

Scenography: Inna Wöllert
Costumes: José Manuel Vázquez
Dramaturgy: Karen Dietrich

Photo: Ignacio Garcia

Production: Staatstheater Darmstadt
Coproduction: L’Auditori and Festival Òpera de Butxaca i Nova Creació-FOBCN
With the collaboration of: Institut Ramon Llull
With the support of: Goethe-Institut Barcelona and Lufthansa

Press quote

La Cuzzoni, sung in Catalan and subtitled in German, was a successfully co-production between the Barcelona Òpera de Butxaca i Noves Creacions Festival and the Darmstadt Opera, on the occasion of the recent edition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which had the Catalan culture as a guest.

The composer Agustí Charles wrote for this chamber opera music “more expressive than intellectual” which is performed by the singers and the string quartet, with amplified music, around the room, thus creating an orchestral sensation. Charles has explained that, for the composition, he played with the idea of the things that intersect around the diva protagonist of the story, and for this reason he wrote an instrumental game with colors and cinematographic language, with vocal and instrument sounds that they cross.

The character of the histrionic Italian diva who, despite having succeeded, had to take refuge in charity to pay her expenses, is played by the lyric soprano Sonja Gerlach, when she is young, and by the countertenor Gerson Luiz Sales when she is older, while Werner Volker Meyer is the music critic Charles Burney.

Alfonso Romero has built a staging on a white space, without historical references, crossed by several white elastic cords in front of the musicians.

Francesca Cuzzoni (Parma 1700 – Bologna, 1772) was an Italian soprano, considered one of the best women’s baroque voices, who was a diva at the London opera, but fell into decline when she was over 50 and in the British capital ‘bel canto’ in Italian was no longer in fashion. November 8, 2007. 20 Minutos


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