Dramatised oratorio


Alessandro Scarlatti

Scarlattiren musika bikainak gure kulturako lehenengo senide-hilketara eramango gaitu, bidaia itzelean.

15 april 2023

Alessandro Scarlatti was admired by Baroque composers as the greatest master composer of vocal music because of his genius in expressing musically the inflections of poetry. Among his incredible vocal compositions (around 600 cantatas, some 120 operas and nearly 40 oratorios), “Cain, overo Il primo omicidio” stands out. Although written as a Counter-Reformation work in 1707, the year in which stage performances were totally banned in Rome by papal decree, Il primo omicidio is nevertheless a fully-fledged opera. first performed in Venice in 1707,

This version offers a great opportunity to enjoy the art of the Neapolitan genius, who immerses us in the plot of man’s first criminal action, shrouded in an idyllic empyrean atmosphere and in a profound struggle of spontaneous human feelings. Scarlatti musically imprints on each character a varied palette of personalities and affections that turn the dramatic discourse into a great journey to the first fratricide of our culture: the biblical story of Cain and Abel. A story filled with sex, crime, drama and humour, God and the devil fight over the human soul. Emotions and passions are recreated in the arias like peaks of fever, with music full of colour and detail. All the basic questions we might ask about the myth are contained in this oratorio: How does evil come into the world? Why does God put human beings to the test? How do we find the right path? And should we subordinate our personal happiness to faith? In the process, Cain becomes, on the one hand, the symbol of the wandering, doubting and searching human being, but on the other hand he is also the bearer of knowledge and, with his excessive capacity for love and longing, is the symbol of man himself. Together with him, we recognise that we always have to search within ourselves when we ask for divineness.

This in-house production of the Arriaga Theatre features musical direction by the prestigious countertenor Carlos Mena and stage management by Tatjana Gurbaça, former opera director of Mainz State Theatre and one of the leading international conductors, she works all over the world, mainly in Europe. Scarlatti’s music will be performed by excellent soloists and the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa (BOS).

The team

Cain, overo Il primo omicidio (Venezia, 1707) – A. Scarlatti.
Composer: Alessandro Scarlatti.
Libretto: Pietro Ottoboni.
Music director: Carlos Mena.
Stage management: Tatjana Gürbaça.

Singers - Soloists
Adam: Josu Cabrero.
Eve: Sonia de Munck.
God: Carlos Mena.
Cain: Christian Borrelli.
Abel: Lucía Caihuela.
Lucifer: Ferran Albrich.

God (Mother): Ane Guisasola.
God (Daughter): Ainhoa Artetxe.
Lucifer: Gaizka Chamizo.

Orchestra: Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa (BOS).

Lighting: Stefan Bolliger.
Set design: Stefan Heyne.
Production: Teatro Arriaga.


Day 15 - 19:00.


From 21 to 45€ /with discounts

Friends of Arriaga:
From 25% to 35% DISCOUNT.

Groups, young people, over-65s, unemployed, large families and people with 33%+ disability:

Last minute discount (for above-mentioned groups, except Friends of Arriaga):

Last minute discount for Young Friends of Arriaga:

People with disabilities who use wheelchairs:
50% DISCOUNT (in proscenium balcony and one accompanying person)


115 min.