MOZART, W.A.: Sogno di Scipione (Il) (Salzburg Festival, 2006)


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- (Disc 1)
Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126

Date of Production: 2006
Festival: Salzburg Festival
Venue: Grosse Universitatsaula, Salzburg
Playing Time: 01:48:33
Catalogue Number: A04001476

The genre of Il sogno di Scipione hovers between opera seria and oratorio. Devoid of psychological development or even dramatic conflict, it centers on Scipio, who dreams of two beautiful allegorical women: Fortuna (Fortune) and Costanza (Constancy). The two women both try to win him over. Ultimately, Scipio has to choose one, and his choice falls, unsurprisingly, on Costanza.

The Mozart 22 production of Il sogno di Scipione (Scipio's Dream) adds two more superlatives to the already stunning list of this project's matchless achievements. The musical direction is in the hands of the youngest conductor of all Mozart 22 works, Robin Ticciati, born in 1983; and it is most likely the very first staged performance ever of this work, which was not given its first full-length concert premiere until 1979, at the Salzburg Mozartwoche. Based on a libretto by Pietro Metastasio, like Betulia liberata, Tito and Rè pastore, the azione teatrale was composed between April and August 1771. Although it was intended for Archbishop Schrattenbach, he died before the work was completed.

Director Michael Sturminger has devised a light and witty staging with artists from the Klagenfurt Municipal Theater. He transposes the action to what looks like a large suite in a luxury hotel. Gone are all traces of pallid allegory in the depictions of the two women: Fortuna (a warmly intoning Bernarda Bobro) is a vamp and seductress in revealing dresses; Costanza (a dazzlingly virtuoso Louise Fribo) is the sensible housewife and mother who, however, hasn't forgotten how to turn on her man. To help guide Scipio back on the path of virtue, Sturminger has Costanza trot out the couple's two cute little children...

Musically, the work flickers with flashes of genius that prefigure the later operatic master. Already self-confident in his treatment of emotions, Mozart relishes his chance to formulate breathtaking vocal fireworks as his protagonists grapple with lust, desire and virtue. Thanks to Blagoj Nacoski, the title role stands out for its brilliance and clarity. British conductor Robin Ticciati leads the chorus of the Klagenfurt Municipal Theater and the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra with irrepressible verve.

Part 1

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