Concertante Performance
Sep 2022


Concertante Performance

Festa pastorale a cinque voci | Martyna Pastuszka | {oh!} Orkiestra

Thursday, September 15, 2022 | 19:30 h
Markgräfliches Opernhaus Bayreuth

Music by Tomaso Albinoni
Text by Anonymous

1 break (30 min.) after Part 1 (duration approx. 70 min.) Total duration approx. 2h 30 min.  

The goddess of the dawn Aurora is celebrating her birthday. In one aria after another, the god Apollo, wood nymphs, Daphne, Flora the goddess of flowers, the river god Peneo and the god of the winds Zeffiro extol in song the joyful occasion. During the festivities Apollo woos demure Daphne, who however is coy about accepting such ardent advances, in the end preferring to be transformed into a birthday wreath…

The Venetian Tomaso Albinoni was and is noted most of all as one of the great melodists of the Baroque age. It was no wonder he was commissioned (probably in 1711) to compose a festa teatrale on the birthday of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wölfenbüttel – the spouse of Charles VI ­– which celebrated and rendered homage to the monarch. Nevertheless, the sweet and lovely nothingness of the action is only superficially a pure birthday allegory. The Spanish War of Succession was raging, the Habsburgs were hoping for a male successor to the throne, to be born of the young birthday candidate. Accordingly, the libretto of Il Nascimento dell’Aurora (The Birth of Aurora) is interspersed with such allusions. Although the male scion was conspicuous for his absence, Elisabeth Christine gave Maria Theresa to the world, and Albinoni a jewel of musical rejuvenation. The characters of the play pay homage in spellbinding melodies to the vocal art, and, when Apollo sings of love, only Daphne can resist, but not the audience …

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