Baroque Musical Theatre

Serenata tragicomica




OCTOBER 1 & 2, 2024, 7:30 PM 


Beim Handelsmuseum 9, 28195 Bremen

ORFEO | Marc Mauillon

KALLIOPE | Luciana Mancini

PLUTONE | Dominik Wörner

soprano | Cornelia Fahrion & Erika Tandiono

tenor | Mirko Ludwig & Manuel Warwitz

violin | Mechthild Karkow & Rebecca Raimondi

viola | Amy Shen

harpsichord | Alexander von Heißen

director | Ana Cuéllar Velasco

musical direction |

Bernhard Reichel (theorbo)

"Comedy seeks to imitate worse people, tragedy better than they are in reality." - Aristotle, "Poetics"

Tragedy and comedy, heroes of mythology and everyday bourgeois scenes, high poetry and suggestive kitchen Latin, avant-garde monodies and folksy canzonets - all of these separate and connect the two works of Domenico Belli and Adriano Banchieri. The idea of structuring a comedy with tragic interludes (musical-dramatic interludes) is as old as modern theater itself: examples can be found at the grand Florentine weddings of 1598 and 1608, up to Richard Strauss' opera "Ariadne auf Naxos."

Both forms of theater music - the art theater of the interludes, which was based on the addition of various arts such as painting, architecture, music, rhetoric, and the cheerful theater art of Commedia dell'arte - form a complementary unity, presenting different views of humanity and the world in one evening, alternating in a performance.

In our "Serenata tragicomica", we present Banchieri's comedy "Il metamorfosi musicale" and Domenico Belli's mini-opera "Orfeo dolente" in an entertaining evening of music theater at the Bremen Schaulust. The production is directed by Ana Cuéllar Velasco.

Adriano Banchieri's madrigal comedy "Il metamorfosi musicale" from 1601 is the setting of an Italian improvised comedy (commedia dell'arte), with all its fast-paced antics, scheming characters, and raucous dialogues. Fig vendor Stefanello, apothecary Michelino, the deeply in love Florio and Laura, courtesan Ninetta, and the servant Pedrolino are involved in a hair-raising game of jealousy, power, and social roles. According to Banchieri's stage directions, a vocal ensemble sings the dialogue text behind a curtain while Commedia dell'arte actors pantomime the action on stage. In contrast to the idealized characters of music drama, the madrigal comedy "when you look closely at its content, portrays almost all the actions of the private individual, and as a mirror of human life, its goal is no less gain than pleasure." (Orazio Vecchi, 1597)

Domenico Belli's interludes "Orfeo dolente" were performed in 1616 in Florence as an accompaniment to Torquato Tasso's comedy "Aminta." The miniature opera in five short acts tells of Orfeo's despair after the final loss of his beloved Eurydice. Remarkable is the appearance of Orfeo's mother, Calliope, who assists him in pleading for mercy from the god of the underworld. Belli's music is avant-garde and daring, while the text by the famous poet Gabriello Chiabrera is entirely in the spirit of modern mannerism. With interludes, the ruling house demonstrated its splendor: modern art by the most advanced poets and composers of their time, magnificent stage sets, numerous musicians, and wondrous stage effects were intended to astonish the audience.


Orfeo dolente: First Interlude

After losing Eurydice twice, Orpheus returns to the gates of the underworld. He admits his guilt but hopes to once again persuade the god of the underworld to let him find Eurydice. However, Pluto remains unmoved.

Il Metamorfosi musicale: Prologue

The plot, location, and characters of the comedy are introduced.

Orfeo dolente: Second Interlude

Calliope complains about her son's unhappiness and pleads with Pluto on behalf of Orpheus. He remains unyielding. Calliope and the shepherds comment on his decision.

Il Metamorfosi musicale: Act One

The old fig vendor Stefanello promises the apothecary Michelino the hand of his daughter Laura. Stefanello desires the courtesan Ninetta and plans the wedding feast with Pedrolino.

Orfeo dolente: Third Interlude

Orpheus flees to a lonely place to surrender to his grief. Calliope and the shepherds urge him not to run away from a new love. Orpheus wishes for nothing more than to lament his suffering.

Il Metamorfosi musicale: Act Two

Stefanello pursues the courtesan Ninetta, but she harshly rejects him. Florio is in love with Laura, learns of the planned wedding, and contemplates taking his own life.

Orfeo dolente: Fourth Interlude

The Graces accuse Cupid of causing Orpheus to lament. The chorus of nymphs expresses the wish that a new love may ignite his heart, but Orpheus only wants to think of Eurydice.

Il Metamorfosi musicale: Act Three

The servant Pedrolino informs Laura that Florio intends to take his own life. Laura admits her love for Florio. Michelino tries to seduce Laura with a madrigal.

Orfeo dolente: Fifth Interlude

The chorus once again wishes for Orpheus' heart to beat for a new love. The Graces express their trust in love. Orpheus continues to lament and wishes for death.

Il Metamorfosi musicale: Conclusion

Stefanello complains about his failed plans. Laura and Florio get married.



Marc Mauillon sings both tenor and baritone roles and has performed as Papageno (The Magic Flute), Bobinet (La Vie parisienne), Mercury (Orpheus in the Underworld), Husband in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Momo in Luigi Rossi's Orfeo, La Haine in Lully's Armide, Tisiphone in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas), as well as in the title roles of Cavalli's Egisto and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande), Adonis in John Blow's Venus and Adonis, and Pélée in Marais' Alcione.

On the concert stage, he has performed French motets by Charpentier, Lully, Rameau, Desmarest, Campra, and Couperin, Italian madrigals by Monteverdi and Gesualdo, secular cantatas by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Montéclair, and Clérambault, as well as music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

He has collaborated with conductors such as William Christie, Marc Minkowski, Raphaël Pichon, Christophe Rousset, Alain Altinoglu, Jordi Savall, Vincent Dumestre, Hervé Niquet, Emmanuelle Haïm, Laurent Campellone, Maxime Pascal, and Geoffroy Jourdain, as well as directors like Lukas Hemleb, Deborah Warner, Benjamin Lazar, Robert Carsen, and Jetske Mijnssen.

Together with Myriam Rignol, Thibaut Roussel, and Marouan Mankar-Bennis, he recorded a CD of Michel Lambert's Leçons de Ténèbres, released in 2018 on the harmonia mundi label. In the same label, a Fauré album with pianist Anne Le Bozec was released in 2020.

In recent years, Marc Mauillon has been heard as Cithéron in Rameau's Platée at the Theater an der Wien, as Andrès/Cochenille/Pitichinaccio/Frantz (Les Contes d'Hoffmann) at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, in recitals with Lea Desandre at the Opéra Comique, and in concerts celebrating the 40th anniversary of Les Arts Florissants in London, Hamburg, Baden-Baden, Madrid, and Paris. Further engagements include Orfeo at the Royal Opera Copenhagen, Pelée in Marais' Alcione at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and most recently Pelléas at the Opéra National Montpellier.

Since 2018, he has been teaching Interpretation of Early Music at the Sorbonne in Paris.



The native Swede with Chilean roots, Luciana Mancini, studied singing and historical performance practice at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Her repertoire spans from medieval to contemporary music, from the standard opera repertoire to world music.

She regularly performs in renowned concert and opera houses such as the Berlin State Opera, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Franz Liszt Music Academy and Müpa in Budapest, the Dutch National Opera, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Drottningholm Palace Theatre, the Wiener Musikverein, the Theater an der Wien, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, and the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara, as well as in churches throughout Europe.

Luciana Mancini has a long and fruitful collaboration with the Ensemble L'Arpeggiata, with whom she performed Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 and recorded the albums Los Impossibles and Los Pajaros Perdidos: The South American Project, and appeared in performances of Bontempi's Il Paride. She also participated in performances of Luigi Rossi's Il palazzo incantato, the CD Orfeo Chamán (2016), productions of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, and various concert programs on a world tour.



Bass-baritone Dominik Wörner studied church music, musicology, harpsichord, organ, and singing in Stuttgart, Fribourg, and Bern. His significant voice teacher was Jakob Stämpfli. He completed his master class in Lied (song) with Irwin Gage in Zurich with distinction.

Dominik Wörner laid the foundation for his international career by winning the 1st prize at the renowned International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2002.

With the major oratorio roles in his repertoire, the singer has performed in the world's most important concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Lincoln Center in New York, Sydney Opera House, Tokyo Suntory Hall. He has collaborated with significant conductors such as Carl Saint Clair, Christophe Coin, Claus Peter Flor, Thomas Hengelbrock, Pablo Heras-Casado, Philippe Herreweghe, Michael Hofstetter, Manfred Honeck, Tõnu Kaljuste, Sigiswald Kuijken, Peter Neumann, Philippe Pierlot, Helmuth Rilling, and Masaaki Suzuki. As a welcome guest, he has performed with famous orchestras and ensembles including the Bach Collegium Japan, Concerto Melante, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam, Nargen Festival Orchestra Tallinn, Prague Philharmonia, Symphonieorchester Bern, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Berliner Bachakademie, Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Munich Radio Orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent, La Petite Bande, Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, to name just a few.

In addition to his oratorio and concert work, Dominik Wörner has a special passion for lieder (art songs). With his extensive lieder repertoire, he has performed in cities such as Bern, Istanbul, Leipzig, Munich, Salzburg, Toblach, Tokyo, and Zurich. His recordings of Schubert's Winterreise and Schwanengesang, both on original Biedermeier-era fortepianos (ARS label), have been praised in the specialist press as "exemplary and moving." As the Artistic Director of the Deutsch-Japanese Lied Forum Tokyo and co-founder of the Kirchheimer Liedersommer Biennale, the versatile artist actively contributes as an organizer to the promotion of art song in both countries. The first CD recording within the framework of the Deutsch-Japanese Lied Forum with Masato Suzuki featured Brahms' cycle "Die schöne Magelone" performed on a historical 1870 stringed piano. Dominik Wörner's commitment to contemporary music is also important, as evidenced by several premieres of pieces composed for him, such as Marco Sofianopoulo's "Canticum Canticorum" premiered at the Trieste Cathedral, Axel Ruoff's "Memento creatoris tui," and Werner Jacob's "Lamentatio" and "Triptychon" at the Sebald Night Concerts in Nuremberg (produced for Bayerischer Rundfunk). His successful operatic debut took place in Solothurn in Rousseau's "Le devin du village" (cpo). He received acclaim for his portrayal of Nanni in Haydn's "L'infedeltà delusa" in Milan and Munich, as well as his interpretations as Sander in Gretry's "Zémire et Azor" and Ulysses in Gouvy's late Romantic opera "Polyxena."

Currently, Dominik Wörner's versatile talent is documented in over 90 CD and DVD productions (including 10 solo CDs) on various labels. These recordings have received awards such as the Echo Klassik, Diapason d'Or de l'Année, Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and BBC Music Magazine Choral Award. He has also appeared in numerous TV and radio broadcasts. Recent highlights include performances of Bach's Christmas Oratorio in Moscow, Mendelssohn's "Paulus" in the Herkulessaal in Munich, Bach's Coffee Cantata in St. Gallen (video), Mozart's Requiem in Tokyo, Bach's Aeolus Cantata in Budapest, Beethoven's "Missa solemnis" in Basel, Handel's "Messiah" in Kobe, Pergolesi's "La serva padrona" in Klaipeda, Lithuania, Rossini's "Petite messe solennelle" in Basel, Monteverdi's "Selva morale" in Barcelona, concerts and CD recording of Graupner cantatas in Darmstadt, a Japan tour featuring Brahms' "Ein deutsches Requiem," and a US tour (NY Lincoln Center, among others) with Bach's Christmas Oratorio and the Bach Collegium Japan. Upcoming performances include concerts in Berlin (Hamel, Symphony No. 6), Brixen (Grieninger), Fulda (Rothe, St. Matthew Passion), Hamburg (Telemann), Rotterdam (Bach, St. Matthew Passion), Tokyo (Bach, cantatas), Utrecht (Graupner), Dresden (Schütz), Leipzig (closing concert of the Bachfest), Bern (Haydn, The Creation), and St. Gallen (Bach - video).

Dominik Wörner is the founder of Kirchheimer VokalConsort, Kirchheimer BachConsort, Kirchheimer DübenConsort, co-founder of Sette Voci, and, alongside his solo career, an enthusiastic consort singer in various formations.