Carl Heinrich Graun’s “Montezuma”

A Baroque opera seria, with a libretto by Frederick the Great. 

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Experience the sumptuousness of baroque opera as we present the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico told from the viewpoint of a philosopher king. Frederick the Great’s first and greatest love was music, and it’s well known that he was a phenomenal flautist (not to mention a passable composer). Like Louis XIV, Frederick spared no expense in outfitting his court and capital city with an enormous quantity of very high-quality music.

But, Freddie took an even greater interest in his musicians’ activities than the Sun King, for he regularly joined them in their music-making. In the production of Montezuma, he carried this involvement even further, producing the French libretto that was translated into Italian by his court poet Giampietro Tagliazucchi, and then set to music by his opera maestro Carl Heinrich Graun.

Touching on perennial operatic themes such as the conflict between love and duty, Frederick’s story of the fall of the eponymous Aztec emperor to the conquistador Hernán Cortés is fascinating and highly emotional, if not completely historically accurate.  Our first operatic production will be semi-staged and sung in Italian with English supratitles, and is not to be missed!  Please note that this concert begins an hour earlier than normal, at 7pm, and there will be no pre-concert talk.

Author: Admin

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