2018-02-28 / Front Page

On the Road in Italy: Baroque Costumed Opera in Venice

By Catherine Tsounis

A costumed usher gave us a warm welcome with a program.A costumed usher gave us a warm welcome with a program.Costumes, formal etiquette from the baroque era (1600-1759) made a classical concert exceptional. “Baroque and Opera” at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro in Rialto, Venice in late October 2017 was a once in a lifetime experience.

“Baroque and Opera” was the second opera we saw dedicated to Venetian composer Vivaldi at the main hall of the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro by the Orchestra I Musici Veneziani in Rialto. The hall was designed by Baldassare Longhenaith 17th and 18th century paintings. The hall reminded us of the Nikolaevsky Palace, known as the Vodka Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. A costumed usher gave us a warm welcome with a program. A banner of St. Theodore of Amasea hung at the entrance.

Selections were from the following composers and operas: Cimaros; Offenbach, ‘Barcarola’; A banner of St. Theodore of Amasea hung at the entrance.
A banner of St. Theodore of Amasea hung at the entrance. Rossini, ‘Barber of Seville’; Verdi ‘La Travita’, ‘Rigoletto’; Puccini, ‘Tosca’, ‘La Boheme’ and other pieces. The costumes were lavish. Cooperation between the orchestra and singers was noticeable. Each enhanced each other’s performance. The Baritone gave a fabulous performance. I do not know why he has not been discovered like Bocelli. The singers’ names are not listed in the program.
 
The Sola Grande Di San Teodoro is named after the Saint Theodore of Amasea (Greek: Θεόδωρος) who is venerated as a Warrior Saint and Great Martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church.”St Theodore was the patron saint of Venice before the relics of Saint Mark were (according to tradition) brought to the city in 828. The original chapel of the Doge was dedicated to St Theodore, though, after the transfer of the relics of St Mark, it was superseded by the church of St Mark….

There were 15 churches in Constantinople dedicated to St Theodore, who was a Greek saint, Store windows had festive costumes to appeal to the tourist.Photos by Despina Siolas, Md/PhDStore windows had festive costumes to appeal to the tourist.Photos by Despina Siolas, Md/PhD specially venerated by the Eastern church.1 Professor Father Nicola Madaro of St. San Giorgio dei (“Saint George of the Greeks”) Church in Castello, said “Venice originally had been a subject city of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). The Venetians saw St Theodore as a symbol of their subjection to Constantinople. The adoption of St Mark as their patron helped to establish their independence.” his statue on one of the two columns at the San Marco square.2

Despina Siolas, MD/PhD with concert administrator.

Despina Siolas, MD/PhD with concert administrator. “Scuola Grande di San Teodoro was the confraternity of San Teodoro founded in 1258. The members were mainly merchants and artisans. The Scuola was first based at the Augustinian priests before it moved to the San Salvador church. It was originally a scuola piccola and it was granted scuola grande status in 1552. The construction of the current building started in 1579 by the architect Tommaso Contin and was finished in 1613. Throughout the 17th century, the building was enlarged and decorated with paintings by Vassilacchi, Jacopo Palma il Giovanna, Balestra and Bassano.

The Scuola di San Teodoro began as a charity offering Baritone gave a fabulous performance, Orchestra I Musici Veneziani
Baritone gave a fabulous performance, Orchestra I Musici Veneziani education and training before it became a warehouse. Afterwards, it had distinct roles such as a dormitory for homeless, an archive and a movie theatre. In 1960, the Scuola was reconstructed and it is now used as a venue for cultural events such as exhibitions, meetings and concerts. Since 1999, I Musici Veneziani perform their concerts in the beautiful setting of the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro.3

Concert Finale, Orchestra I Musici Veneziani.
Concert Finale, Orchestra I Musici Veneziani. Leaving the music hall and walking to our hotel, the Bizansio (Byzantium) near St. George Church, showed us the beauty of night time Venice. The store windows had festive costumes to appeal to the tourist. Opera evenings in Venice for only 25 to 38 euros ($30-$40) is an experience a tourist must enjoy.


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