Composer: unknown, mid 17th C.
Libretto: Antonio Abati (c. 1595 - 1667)
Four patients wait for a doctor that seems to have forgotten them. The parallels with our own time are surprising. Such is the poet Antonio Abati's satire of healthcare, medicine and hypochondria, which has lost none of its wit and charm in the 350 years since it was written. Rediscovered by Dr Naomi Matsumoto (Goldsmiths University) and first performed by Solomon's Knot in 2015, this will be its second-ever staging in modern times, and the first in a faithful 17th century production. Although the composer is at present unknown, the libretto for Lo Spedale was most likely written by Abati during his time at the Imperial court in Vienna in the 1640s. The music is as eccentric as the text, with moments of great beauty juxtaposed with comic choruses, and some incredibly complex rhythmic writing that suggests it may have been the work of Giovanni Valentini, court composer and friend of Abati, much of whose work is now lost. Work on identifying the composer's identity for certain has taken place alongside preparing the performance, and a programme essay on the work, along with a new translation of the libretto by Oliver Doyle and Delia Fiordilino, will be avaliable for purchase on the door. The work will be sung in Italian with English surtitles, and lasts approximately 1 hour.
Tickets to this performance will be free, making art accessible to all, and showcasing a wonderful, historic community asset in an area that is ever-changing. Seating is unreserved, so arriving early is recommended.
This performance is made possible by the generosity of Southwark Council, Illuminate Rotherhithe, and a host of individuals who have contributed to help make attendance free.
Nearest tube Rotherhithe (30 seconds’ walk) and Canada Water (5 minutes’ walk)