MOZART, W.A.: Betulia liberata (La) (Salzburg Festival, 2006)

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- (Disc 1)
La Betulia liberata, K. 118

Date of Production: 2006
Festival: Salzburg Festival
Venue: Felsenreitschule, Salzburg
Playing Time: 02:11:00
Catalogue Number: A04001464
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Written in spring 1771, Betulia Liberata is an azione sacra, a sacred play in the style of the Italian oratorio. The libretto takes up the well-known biblical story of Judith and Holofernes. The Assyrian general and dictator is laying siege to the Jewish town of Betulia. He has the town surrounded and its water supplies cut off. While the Prince of Betulia, Ozias, and religious leaders discuss what to do, the widow Judith decides to act: she boldly strides into the enemy camp, where she wins Holofernes' trust, arouses his senses and cuts off his head.

As befits an oratorio, the Salzburg production of Betulia Liberata is a semi-staged concert performance. The incisive playing of the Munich Chamber Orchestra under its early-music-inspired conductor Christoph Poppen provides the dynamic basis for the homogeneous cast headed by Jeremy Ovenden as Ozias, a demanding tenor part sung with nimble bravura, Marjana Mijanovic as a darkly hued and sensual Judith, Franz-Josef Selig as a profound Alchior and Julia Kleiter as a luminous Amital. Noteworthy is the rousing vitality of the Chorus of the Vienna State Opera.

Part 1


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