Castrati by Staatsballett Berlin, choreography by Nacho Duato; stage design by Nacho Duato; costumes by Francis Montesinos; light design by Brad Fields. Music by Antonio Vivaldi (Nisi Dominus RV 608, Stabat Mater RV 621, Salve Regina RV 616, Concerto RV 439 „La notte“) and Karl Jenkins (Palladio).
Castrati (2002) harks back to a dark page in musical history. When sopranos were at the height of their popularity, women were banned from singing in church. To fill the need for sopranos, young boys were castrated. As barbaric as it may seem, the practice is not so far in the past – the last castrato died in the twentieth century. Castrati is a deeply moving work danced by 9 men and immersed in the music of Vivaldi and Karl Jenkins. “The Vivaldi pieces, especially, underpin the horror of an aesthetic ritual that gives masculinity a woman’s voice and, at the end of the piece, drenches with blood the hand of the one chosen for sacrifice” (Il Sicolo XIX, Italy)
Nacho Duato (Juan Ignacio Duato Bárcia), born in Valencia 1957, is a Spanish modern ballet dancer and choreographer. After a long and successful career, he was selected by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Education as the artistic director of the National Spanish Dance Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza de España) in June 1990. In July 2010 Nacho Duato was appointed the artistic director of the ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, effective from January 2011. 2014 Nacho Duato became the chief of the Berlin State Ballet.
Photo by Jack Devant ballet photography © with kind permission of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatsballett Berlin, special thanks to Corinna Erlebach.