MOZART, W.A.: Lucio Silla (Salzburg Festival, 2006)

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- (Disc 1)
Lucio Silla, K. 135

Date of Production: 2006
Festival: Salzburg Festival
Venue: Felsenreitschule, Salzburg
Playing Time: 02:28:05
Catalogue Number: A04001480
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Following the success of his Mitridate, Mozart received another commission to write an opera for Milan, a dramma per musica in three acts. He began working on Lucio Silla in late 1772, while on his third trip to Italy. Although the rehearsals were fraught with problems caused by recalcitrant singers, the work was nevertheless given 26 performances to full houses. Yet despite this success, Lucio Silla was the last opera Mozart wrote for Italy.

"I see it as a kind of political thriller, the story of a plot against an inhuman regime. [...] Lucio Silla is, in my opinion, one of the few truly political pieces by Mozart." Director Jürgen Flimm conceived his production accordingly, delivering a taut and often breathtakingly raw interpretation of the story of the dictator Lucio Silla. Although the action unfolds in ancient Rome, Flimm has transposed it to Mozart's day, when absolutistic monarchs still held sway over Europe.

Coveting the betrothed of the senator Cecilio, the dictator Silla exiles the senator and declares him dead. Giunia, however, wards off Silla's advances and is happily reunited with Cecilio when he secretly returns. But Silla refuses to yield and tries to force Giunia to give herself to him. She refuses once, she refuses twice... Then Silla publicly announces their wedding. To prevent the wedding and end Silla's tyranny, Cecilio reappears in public and tries to assassinate Silla. The plot fails but - as one would expect in an opera seria - the dictator has a sudden change of mind and brings the story to a happy end.

Jürgen Flimm's staging is a coproduction with Venice's Teatro La Fenice, which also contributed its chorus and orchestra to the Salzburg adaptation. The stellar cast is dominated by Roberto Saccà as Silla, Annick Massis as Giunia and Monica Bacelli as Cecilio - all three at home on the world's greatest stages such as the Vienna State Opera, Barcelona's Liceu, London's Covent Garden Opera, La Scala, Palais Garnier...

Part 1


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