In a spectacle for lovers of classical music and horses alike: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's cantata Davide Penitente (also: Davidde penitente) is presented as a horse ballet, choreographed by Bartabas. The performance took place in the Felsenreitschule theater, as part of Salzburg’s 2015 Mozart Week. Conducted by Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble perform on period instruments, alongside vocal soloists Christiane Karg (soprano), Marianne Crebassa (mezzo-soprano) and Stanislas de Barbeyrac (tenor), as well as Salzburg’s own Bach Choir. The ballet is performed by the horses and riders of the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles.
It’s the first performance at the Salzburg Mozart Week by French equestrian artist and theater maker Bartabas and his troupe from the Adadémie Équestre de Versailles. That – of all places – the Felsenreitschule was selected to be the venue is no coincidence; the 300-year-old theater was originally built specifically for equestrian performances. The former audience arcades are now occupied by the orchestra, choir, and soloists, while the horses once again have full rein of the stage.
For the choreography, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s cantata Davide Pentitente has been supplemented by three more of Austrian composer’s works. As the opening – as an overture, so to speak – comes the March of the Priests from The Magic Flute, and the Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music) in C minor. Prior to the final three penitential prayers, the second movement of the Symphony No. 46 in C major – the Andante – has been added.
The performance itself is submerged in an atmospheric darkness, lending it something of the sacred. In the interplay of horse and human, music and movement, light and costumes, Bartabas' production proves to be an extraordinary take on the Mozart concerto – a modern equine ballet in a location steeped in tradition.
https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/071372-00 ... -bartabas/