New Productions

EZIO
Christoph Willibald Gluck
1714 - 1787
Dramma per musica in three actcs (Prague Edition)
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio
First performed, during carnival time, at the Teatro Nuovo, Prague, in 1750
First ever performance in Frankfurt
Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Duration: 3 hours with one interval

About the piece

»He has incredible fire but, unfortunately, he is mad and his music sounds ultra vandalistic.« Metastasio’s biting remark about yo ...
»He has incredible fire but, unfortunately, he is mad and his music sounds ultra vandalistic.« Metastasio’s biting remark about young Gluck was made in 1750, more than a decade before he composed his masterpiece, Orfeo ed Euridice. This future reformer of music for the stage started out as a traditional opera seria composer. His Ezio, written for Prague, is one of his most interesting early works. Metastasio’s moralising and rather lifeless texts lend Gluck’s music a gripping, dramatic power. The complex story takes place in Rome, after the fall of Attila, King of the Huns. Emperor Valentinian III is jealous of his victorious Commander Ezio. The Roman patrician Massimo, whose wife was raped by the Emperor, asks Ezio to help him kill Valentinian. When their plot goes wrong Massimo makes it look as if Ezio alone is to blame and pleads for the death penalty in order to make the people – among whom the Commander is very popular – rise up against the Emperor. Metastasio wove love intrigues into the story, involving Fulvia, Massimo’s daughter, Onoria, the Emperor’s sister and Varo, Ezio’s friend. Unlike the outcome of the story upon which the opera is based, the Commander is found innocent. Although the score appears to follow conventions, Gluck makes the musical characterisation of his characters completely credible: with moving lines of song instead of empty passages of coloratura.

Synopsis

Emperor Valentiano thanks Ezio for leading the army in battle against the Huns. Ezio greets Fulvia, his intended, but is met with ...
Emperor Valentiano thanks Ezio for leading the army in battle against the Huns. Ezio greets Fulvia, his intended, but is met with reserve. Massimo, Fulvia's father and Valentiano's confidant, says that the emperor intends to marry Fulvia. Massimo has been waiting to take his revenge on Valentiniano for raping his wife. Fulvia is torn between love for Ezio, fear of the emperor and her obedience as a daughter. Ezio turns down Valentiniano's offer of his sister Onoria (who is also in love with Ezio) in marriage because he loves Fulvia. Seeds of distrust sown by Massimo turn into open rivalry. An attempt has been made on the emperor's life. Fulvia horrified by her father's cold-bloodedness, realises that Massimo has stirred up rivalry between Valentiniano and Ezio to cast suspicion on Ezio. The emperor has Ezio arrested. Onoria refuses to believe Ezio capable of betrayal. Fulvia is to profess, in Ezio's presence, that she loves the emperor, but her emotions get the better of her and she admits her love for Ezio. Valentiniano punishes Fulvia by intending to marry her immediately. Onoria begs her brother to set Ezio free. Valentiniano agrees to do so but secretly plans for him to be murdered. Onoria has proof of Ezio's innocence. Emilio confessed to the deed and, before dying, revealed that the traitor is a friend of the emperor. Onoria reminds her brother that he raped Massimo's wife. Massimo is now Valentiniano's chief suspect. Fulvia, to save her father, says she is the guilty party. She now longs only for death. Massimo intends to kill Valentiniano but Ezio prevents him. Ezio's murder was feigned. Valentiniano gives Fulvia and Ezio his blessing and forgives Massimo.


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Performances

Saturday 07.12.2013 19:30 h

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Cast

Conductor
Christian Curnyn
Director
Vincent Boussard
Set Designer
Kaspar Glarner
Costume Designer
Christian Lacroix
Lighting Designer
Joachim Klein
Video
Bibi Abel
Dramaturge
Zsolt Horpácsy

Valentiniano
Max Emanuel Cencic
Fulvia
Paula Murrihy
Ezio
Sonia Prina
Onoria
Sofia Fomina
Massimo
Beau Gibson
Varo
Simon Bode

Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

 
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