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Cimarosa : L'Olimpiade

Summary

Opera in concert version
  • Thursday May 16th 2024
  • Royal Opera
  • 8 p.m | 3h including intermission
Accueil CIMAROSA : L’OLIMPIADE

Cast

  • Opera in two acts to a libretto by Pietro Metastasio, premiered in Vicenza in 1784.
  • Josh Lovell Clistene
  • Rocío Pérez Aristea
  • Marie Lys Argene
  • Maite Beaumont Megacle
  • Mathilde Ortscheidt Licida
  • Alex Banfield Aminta
  • Les Talens Lyriques
  • Christophe Rousset Conductor
  • Concert in Italian with French and English surtitles.

Presentation

Born in 1749, by the late 18th century Cimarosa was one of the leading composers in all of Europe. It was during his most prolific period, when he produced operas in Naples, Florence, Rome, Turin, Verona and Venice, that he created L’Olimpiade, premiered in Vicenza in 1784. To Pietre Metastasio’s already-famous libretto, this great opera seria is transfigured into a sumptuous bel canto drama. The athletes competing in the Games at Olympia are elevated to heroes by Cimarosa, with the winner set to marry Princess Aristaea. Unaware of this promise, Magacles agrees to pose as Prince Lycidas. But when he emerges victorious, he discovers his prize, Aristaea, whom he has always loved but must hand over to Lycidas…

 

This seemingly inextricable plot grants Cimarosa the most extraordinary arias ever to be composed to this libretto, perfectly in keeping with the “Olympic spirit” of summer in Versailles. Christophe Rousset, the great champion of the Italian fin de siècle repertoire, leads a stunning cast in this bel canto tempest !

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“The end of the first act of L’Olimpiade had made a great impression on me the first time I heard it. I had always had it in mind to perform this opera one day, and when Château de Versailles Spectacles proposed that Les Talens Lyriques present it on the occasion of the celebration of the Olympic Games in Paris, I was absolutely delighted! Cimarosa is known above all for his comedies, such as Il matrimonio segreto, but also Il marito disperato and Il mercato di Malmantile, two operas that I had conducted with Les Talens Lyriques.

 

L’Olimpiade, a tragic piece, sparkles with technical virtuosity, but it is also very tense in its expression; the passions are clearly represented in the music. All this work makes Cimarosa’s music absolutely exquisite, and there is no doubt that Josh Lovell and Rocío Pérez, two great virtuosos whom I am delighted to see again, will absolutely do it justice, as will Maité Beaumont, Sophie Harmsen, Marie Lys and others, who appear regularly with Les Talens Lyriques, and the very promising young tenor, Alex Banfield.  Returning to this Neapolitan music and this classical style is like going back thirty years in time to the very early days of Les Talens Lyriques, when we were recording works such as Jommelli’s Armida abbandonata or Traetta’s Antigona.”

Christophe Rousset

With the support of ADOR – Les Amis de l’Opéra Royal 

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