Thursday, April 4, 2019

Barihunk duo in Opera Atelier's Idomeneo

Doug Williams in Idomeneo (Photo: Bruce Zinger)
Opera Atelier's gorgeous production of Mozart's Idomeneo opened on April 4th with sexy bass-barihunk Doug Williams as Neptune and barihunk Olivier Laquerre as Arbace.

The cast includes Colin Ainsworth in the title role, Measha Brueggergosman as Elettra, Wallis Giunta as Idamante, Meghan Lindsay as Ilia and Bradley Christensen  as the Priest. Additional performances are on April 6, 7, 12 and 13 and tickets are available online.

The opera had a successful premiere in Munich in 1781 just two days after the composer's 25th birthday. However,  there was only one other performance of the piece in Mozart's lifetime, a concert version in Vienna in 1786. The lyrical tragedy is considered Mozart’s greatest choral opera and is composed in the baroque tradition of the opera seria. Unfortunately, its style fell out of favor and had a spotty performance history compared to his other works.

Olivier Laquerre as Arbace (photo: Bruce Zinger)
Based on a Homeric myth, the opera follows the return of Idomeneo, the King of Crete, to his Greek Island after the Trojan War. Along with him is his captive Ilia, a Trojan Princess, who is conflicted because she has fallen in love with her captor's son and enemy, Idamante.  Meanwhile, in order to save himself from an imminent ship wreck and watery grave, Idomeneo makes a pact with Neptune, the god of the seas, to sacrifice the first person he meets on shore. The sacrifice turns out to be his son, Idamante. Neptune agrees to spare Idamante's life if Idomeneo abdicates his throne to his son and his future wife, Ilia. Only Elettra, whose love for Idamante is unrequited, is left unfulfilled.

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