The Jubilee of sir Roger Norrington in Moscow
26 November 2009 | Eugene Boyko
On December, 5th in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Concert hall in the framework of the philharmonic season-ticket «Opera masterpieces» the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Chorus «Musica Viva» under the direction of Alexander Rudin will present the concert version of Mozart’s opera «Idomeneo».
It’s already the fourth opera premiere of «Musica Viva», after the past with stunning success «Don Giovanni» and «Cinderella» Rossini (conductor Theodor Kourentzis) and “Orlando” Handel (Christopher Moulds). In April, 2010 the orchestra plans to continue opera tradition by performance of «La Serva Padrona» Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (to the 300 anniversary of the composer) and music of Stravinsky ballet «Pulcinella» genetically connected with it.
««Idomeneo», one of the Mozart’s best operas, has not appeared on the Russian scene for so a long time that there are doubts, whether it was once or not. By forces of German troupe the opera has flashed in 1820 at Maliy theatre of St.-Petersburg, but without special success. The Mariinsky Theater has addressed to this score only in 2009, by the Moscow music fans performance of «Idomeneo» only should be heard. Meanwhile right now ideas of this opera are especially actual: war crimes, a victim of terror, acts of nature and epidemics – the main themes of tragedy have laid down in a basis of the concept of set of modern European statements «Idomeneo». Something similar was endured by Europeans also in XVIII-th century, and not casually that motive of a victim stands out through opera scores of a century of baroque and Education.
Voltaire in «the Philosophical dictionary» has devoted the separate chapter to Jephthah — to a bible prototype of Idomeneo and a problem of human sacrifice. It’s not to mention especially fashionable in those days an image of «The educated monarch» (Idamante) for which role authors allegorically designated Joseph II. It’s not casually that after «Idomeneo» there was appeared variety of the operas with the same name: Giuseppe Gazzaniga, Gazzaniga, Elettra Paër, Giuseppe Farinelli, Vincenzo Federici.
«Idomeneo» – one of the Mozart’s most unusual operas – is presented for the first time in the Munich carnival in 1781. Opera is penetrated by signs of the French style — especially in the ballet scenes written for French choreographer Claude Legrand, working at the Munich court yard. The French influences sharply allocate this product among Mozart’s other operas.
This particular piece includes a composite of most of Mozart’s 1781 composition on «Idomeneo», following a rediscovery of the original performance score. However, Mozart continued to edit the score, sometimes even in between performances one night from the next, so a ’standard’ scoring is next to impossible to obtain on this opera.
«Musica viva» represents «Idomeneo» in the first, Munich edition with some denominations.
Idomeneo: Kresimir Spicer (tenor), Croatia;
Idamante: Sarah Castl (mezzo-soprano), Great Britain;
Elettra: Inga Kalna (soprano), Latvia;
Ilia: Henriette Bonde Hansen (soprano), Denmark;
Arbace: Boris Rudak (tenor), Russia;
High priest of Neptune: Ilja Govzich (tenor) , Russia;
Voice of Poseidon: Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev (bass), Russia.
The Moscow chamber orchestra and chorus «Musica Viva»
The art director and the conductor – Alexander Rudin
Chorus masters – Eugene Volkov and Tatyana Korobkova
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow
December, 5th 2009, 19.00