Vienna State Opera: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria Tickets | Event Dates & Schedule |

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria Tickets

Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
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Available Dates: 22 Nov - 4 Dec, 2024 (5 events)
Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3h 15min with 1 interval
Acts: 2
Intervals: 1

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Choose the date to see the peformers
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Librettist: Giacomo Badoaro
Director: Jossi Wieler
Director: Sergio Morabito

Based on Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, the opera begins at the moment when Odysseus (Ulisse in Italian) returns home from the Trojan War.

Monteverdi and Badoaro have already chosen a very unique perspective on the traditional heroic epic for this opera, which draws our attention to human fragility. The prologue that precedes the action introduces a plot in which all the characters - be they humans or gods - are fragile and have big question marks hanging over them. Of course, Homer's story is kept in mind during the work, there is no other way, but it is crucial that it is not simply retold in the opera, but examined for its contradictions and its potential for pain. Myth is not an unbroken positive concept. We still live in mythical times, in which our human fragility is exposed to irrational powers and forces. We see making myths transparent in terms of our experiences today as the central motif of our theater work. (Jossi Wieler & Sergio Morabito)

Towards the end of his life, Monteverdi preferred to ask questions rather than make statements. We find more impulsiveness and spontaneity in his work. He absorbs all the styles available to him and adapts the musical language to the dramaturgical necessities with enormous flexibility. There are numerous dance fragments and rhythms, scenic effects, caricature-like references within an unusual structure. (Pablo Heras-Casado)

The eponymous "ritorno in patria" describes in three words the ancient Greek term "nostos", or "homecoming": in the literary discussions of antiquity, it was used to summarize Cantos 13 to 23 of Homer's Odyssey , which tell of the actual homecoming of the Troy fighter and wanderer. As a word component "nostalgia", the term is still effective as an element of our everyday language. The plural of "nostos", the "nostoi", was understood to mean the tales told by sailors: sailors' yarns. In the Middle Ages, Odysseus was seen as clever but ignoble, and his wanderings were seen as the punishment of a restlessly wandering murderer. The culmination of this devaluation was the hellish punishment meted out to Odysseus in Dante's Inferno. Among Renaissance scholars, there was a growing number of voices who no longer recognized the poets of the Odyssey without criticism.

Short Summary
He is dropped off asleep on his home island of Ithaca and disguises himself as a beggar in order to remain unrecognized. The shepherd Eumete takes him in and Odysseus initially only reveals himself to his son Telemaco. His wife Penelope has been torn for 20 years between the hope of Odysseus' return and the courtship of suitors urging her to marry.

Premiere of this production: 30 November 1638, Carnival season Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland) is an opera consisting of a prologue and five acts (later revised to three), set by Claudio Monteverdi to a libretto by Giacomo Badoaro. The opera was first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the 1639–1640 carnival season.


The action takes place on and around the island of Ithaca, ten years after the Trojan Wars. English translations used in the synopsis are from Geoffrey Dunn's version, based on Raymond Leppard's 1971 edition, and from Hugh Ward-Perkins's interpretation issued with Sergio Vartolo's 2006 recording for Brilliant Classics. Footnotes provide the original Italian.

The spirit of human frailty (l'humana Fragilità) is mocked in turn by the gods of time (il Tempo), fortune (la Fortuna) and love (l'Amore). Man, they claim, is subject to their whims: "From Time, ever fleeting, from Fortune's caresses, from Love and its arrows...No mercy from me!" They will render man "weak, wretched, and bewildered."

Act 1
In the palace at Ithaca, Penelope mourns the long absence of Ulysses: "The awaited one does not return, and the years pass by." Her grief is echoed by her nurse, Ericlea. As Penelope leaves, her attendant Melanto enters with Eurimaco, a servant to Penelope's importunate suitors. The two sing passionately of their love for each other ("You are my sweet life"). The scene changes to the Ithacan coast, where the sleeping Ulisse is brought ashore by the Phaecians (Faeci), whose action is in defiance of the wishes of gods Giove and Nettuno. The Phaecians are punished by the gods who turn them and their ship to stone. Ulysses awakes, cursing the Phaecians for abandoning him: "To your sails, falsest Phaeacians, may Boreas be ever hostile!" From the goddess Minerva, who appears disguised as a shepherd boy, Ulisse learns that he is in Ithaca, and is told of "the unchanging constancy of the chaste Penelope", in the face of the persistent importunings of her evil suitors. Minerva promises to lead Ulisse back to the throne if he follows her advice; she tells him to disguise himself so that he can penetrate the court secretly. Ulisse goes to seek out his loyal servant Eumete, while Minerva departs to search for Telemaco, Ulisse's son who will help his father reclaim the kingdom. Back at the palace, Melanto tries vainly to persuade Penelope to choose one of the suitors: "Why do you disdain the love of living suitors, expecting comfort from the ashes of the dead?" In a wooded grove Eumete, banished from court by the suitors, revels in the pastoral life, despite the mockery of Iro, the suitors' parasitic follower, who sneers: "I live among kings, you here among the herds." After Iro is chased away, Ulisse enters disguised as a beggar, and assures Eumete that his master the king is alive, and will return. Eumete is overjoyed: "My long sorrow will fall, vanquished by you."

Act 2
Minerva and Telemaco return to Ithaca in a chariot. Telemaco is greeted joyfully by Eumete and the disguised Ulisse in the woodland grove: "O great son of Ulysses, you have indeed returned!" After Eumete goes to inform Penelope of Telemaco's arrival a bolt of fire descends on Ulisse, removing his disguise and revealing his true identity to his son. The two celebrate their reunion before Ulisse sends Telemaco to the palace, promising to follow shortly. In the palace, Melanto complains to Eurimaco that Penelope still refuses to choose a suitor: "In short, Eurymachus, the lady has a heart of stone." Soon afterwards Penelope receives the three suitors (Antinoo, Pisandro, Anfinomo), and rejects each in turn despite their efforts to enliven the court with singing and dancing: "Now to enjoyment, to dance and song!" After the suitors' departure Eumete tells Penelope that Telemaco has arrived in Ithaca, but she is doubtful: "Such uncertain things redouble my grief." Eumete's message is overheard by the suitors, who plot to kill Telemaco. However, they are unnerved when a symbolic eagle flies overhead, so they abandon their plan and renew their efforts to capture Penelope's heart, this time with gold. Back in the woodland grove, Minerva tells Ulisse that she has organised a means whereby he will be able to challenge and destroy the suitors. Resuming his beggar's disguise, Ulisse arrives at the palace, where he is challenged to a fight by Iro, ("I will pluck out the hairs of your beard one by one!"), a challenge he accepts and wins. Penelope now states that she will accept the suitor who is able to string Ulisse's bow. All three suitors attempt the task unsuccessfully. The disguised Ulisse then asks to try though renouncing the prize of Penelope's hand, and to everyone's amazement he succeeds. He then angrily denounces the suitors and, summoning the names of the gods, kills all three with the bow: "This is how the bow wounds! To death, to havoc, to ruin!"

Act 3
Deprived of the suitors' patronage, Iro commits suicide after a doleful monologue ("O grief, O torment that saddens the soul!") Melanto, whose lover Eurimaco was killed with the suitors, tries to warn Penelope of the new danger represented by the unidentified slayer, but Penelope is unmoved and continues to mourn for Ulisse. Eumete and Telemaco now inform her that the beggar was Ulisse in disguise, but she refuses to believe them: "Your news is persistent and your comfort hurtful." The scene briefly transfers to the heavens, where Giunone, having been solicited by Minerva, persuades Giove and Nettune that Ulisse should be restored to his throne. Back in the palace the nurse Ericlea has discovered Ulisse's identity by recognising a scar on his back, but does not immediately reveal this information: "Sometimes the best thing is a wise silence." Penelope continues to disbelieve, even when Ulisse appears in his true form and when Ericlea reveals her knowledge of the scar. Finally, after Ulisse describes the pattern of Penelope's private bedlinen, knowledge that only he could possess, she is convinced. Reunited, the pair sing rapturously to celebrate their love: "My sun, long sighed for! My light, renewed!"

Venue Info

Vienna State Opera - Vienna
Location   Opernring 2

The Vienna State Opera is one of the leading opera houses in the world. Its past is steeped in tradition. Its present is alive with richly varied performances and events. Each season, the schedule features 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra. The building is also the home of the Vienna State Ballet, and it hosts the annual Vienna Opera Ball during the carnival season.

The 1,709-seat Renaissance Revival venue was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, and designs by Josef Hlávka. The opera house was inaugurated as the "Vienna Court Opera" (Wiener Hofoper) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It became known by its current name after the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1921. The Vienna State Opera is the successor of the Vienna Court Opera, the original construction site chosen and paid for by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1861.

The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the house in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka.

Gustav Mahler was one of the many conductors who have worked in Vienna. During his tenure (1897–1907), Mahler cultivated a new generation of singers, such as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg and Selma Kurz, and recruited a stage designer who replaced the lavish historical stage decors with sparse stage scenery corresponding to modernistic, Jugendstil tastes. Mahler also introduced the practice of dimming the lighting in the theatre during performances, which was initially not appreciated by the audience. However, Mahler's reforms were maintained by his successors.

Herbert von Karajan introduced the practice of performing operas exclusively in their original language instead of being translated into German. He also strengthened the ensemble and regular principal singers and introduced the policy of predominantly engaging guest singers. He began a collaboration with La Scala in Milan, in which both productions and orchestrations were shared. This created an opening for the prominent members of the Viennese ensemble to appear in Milan, especially to perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss.

Ballet companies merge

At the beginning of the 2005–2006 season, the ballet companies of the Staatsoper and the Vienna Volksoper were merged under the direction of Gyula Harangozó.

From the 2010–2011 season a new company was formed called Wiener Staatsballet, Vienna State Ballet, under the direction of former Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer Manuel Legris. Legris eliminated Harangozós's policy of presenting nothing but traditional narrative ballets with guest artists in the leading roles, concentrated on establishing a strong in-house ensemble and restored evenings of mixed bill programs, featuring works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, and many contemporary choreographers, as well as a reduced schedule of the classic ballets.

Opera ball

For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball. It is an internationally renowned event, which takes place annually on the last Thursday in Fasching. Those in attendance often include visitors from around the world, especially prominent names in business and politics. The opera ball receives media coverage from a range of outlets.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3h 15min with 1 interval
Acts: 2
Intervals: 1

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

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