OPERA RARA Johann Adolph Hasse’s opera masterpiece – Siroe
We have an exceptional proposal for you: the Armonia Atenea ensemble under the baton of George Petrou will present Johann Adolph Hasse’s forgotten opera Siroe to the audience in the Theatre Hall of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre on the 13th of October at 8 p.m. The concert in Krakow will feature the performance of outstanding soloists, including Max Emanuel Cenčić, Julia Lezhneva, Juan Sancho and Mary-Ellen Nesi.
The libretto written by Pietro Metastasio became the foundation for Hasse’s work.The first version of the opera had its premiere in Bologna on the 2nd of May 1733.The second version was staged in Teatro San Carlo in Naples in 1747.The version that will be presented in Krakow is the third one – i.e., the Dresden version of the work, which was also chosen for performance during the carnival in Warsaw in 1763.
Siroe is a fairy tale.It is a story that should move us and, most importantly, teach us what is right and what is wrong.Siroe proves that good always wins.The plot of the opera is set in Persia, which was a remote and unexplored place for inhabitants of the Old Continent.Intellectual and philosophical forefathers of this story were Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.Another important source was the philosophy of the Enlightenment.
The characters in Siroe were created on the basis of virtues described in The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. Each of them personifies a specific vice. Laodice is an example of personified lust, Medarse represents greed, Emira represents revenge arising from hatred, and Prince Siroe himself is a symbol of excessive virtuousness.
The music of Johann Adolph Hasse characterises the refined taste of aristocrats in the last decades of the old European order probably better than works of any other composer do. Throughout his life Hasse worked in Italy, in Vienna and in the Dresden court. For over 50 years, he was the husband of a well-known mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni, who was one of the top female singers collaborating with Handel in the 1720s.Hasse wrote over 70 operas that made him famous as an artist who can compose excellent pieces for singers.The historian Charles Burney called him his 'great Apollo' and wrote that 'without diminishing other composers, we can say that he was the best of them all.'He was a close friend of Pietro Metastasio, whose librettos he used in over 30 compositions.The fruits of their collaboration can be regarded as a separate genre of opera seria, even though the days of its flourishing were over at that time.
The Armonia Atenea ensemble was established in 1991 by the Athens Camerata Orchestra formed during the opening ceremony of the Megaron concert hall in Athens, which has been its home since then, together with the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens since its opening in 2010.In the autumn of 2009, the ensemble began to collaborate with the conductor George Petrou.It regularly performs with stars such as Max Emanuel Cenčić, Karina Gauvin, Julia Lezhneva or Xavier Sabata.
George Petrou undertook the difficult art of conducting after many years of career as a concert pianist.As a conductor, Petrou specialises in historical performances and in opera pieces.He has recently worked on the performance of Alceste written by Gluck in the Leipzig Opera, the first performance of Gluck’s Il trionfo di Clelia in the Megaron concert hall in Athens and on Mayr’s La Lodoiska together with Münchner Rundfunkorchester.His performances of Handel’s operas: Oreste, Arianna in Creta, Alessandro Severo, Tamerlano and Giulio Cesare recorded for the German label MDG were distinguished by the international press, and Handel’s Alessandro received the title of the Best Production of the Year from Mezzo TV in 2013.
Tickets for the performance of Siroe by Johann Adolph Hasse will be available from the 7st of September 2015 via eventim.pl and in four points of the Info Kraków network: at ul. św. Jana 2, at the Wyspiański Pavilion (Pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2), in Sukiennice (Rynek Główny 1/3) and in the Tourist Services Centre (ul. Powiśle 11).