Lord Folco is out hunting in dead of winter when a hind with the face of his beloved wife Giselda appears to him in a vision. In a panic, he stabs the creature and flees. A necromancer warns him that if his love for Giselda is to survive, he must find the mortally stricken hind and tend her wounds. Meanwhile, Giselda’s own feelings for her former suitor Rinaldo have been rekindled…
The great exponents of Italian verismo, Puccini, Leoncavallo and Mascagni, are among the musical heroes whom Montemezzi cites in his opera – along with Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. The 45-minute-long L’incantesimo (The Love Spell) of 1943 was premiered posthumously in Verona in 1952, but has rarely been performed since then.
The thirty-year-old Latvian conductor Jānis Liepiņš has studied Montemezzi’s work in depth and this new production for the Latvian National Opera draws on various archive versions of it. The staging is the work of the Armenian director Aik Karapetian in collaboration with the set designer A. J. Weissbard, the costume designer Kristīne Pasternaka and the video artist Artis Dzērve. In 2016 the same team staged a new production of Charles Gounod’s Faust, also in Riga.
Dana Bramane is to sing the part of Giselda, Vladislav Sulimsky Lord Folco, Irakli Kakhidze Rinaldo and Romāns Poļisadovs the necromancer Salomone.