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Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
Ended 7 Jul 2017 after 11 days
Considered a milestone in the staging of 18th-century opera
The Guardian, 1991
Few operas demonstrate the genius of a child prodigy than this early work by Mozart, who composed it at the tender age of 14. Written for the Milan carnival, even the young composer was unsure that he was equal to the task. However, he needn't have worried, as it was immediately received as a phenomenal success upon its premiere in 1770. Since then, the opera has seen various revivals in the 20th century when it was rediscovered. Graham Vick's production was first staged in 1991 and now returns to the Royal Opera house in 2017.
Set during the Roman invasion of Europe, the story focuses on a tangled web of unrequited love, lust and politics in the court of Pontus. When the king, Mitridate is wrongly presumed dead in battle with the Romans, the news reaches his two teenage sons, Farnace and Sifare, and his young fiancee Aspasia. The two sons are both in love with Aspasia, however, she is in love with only Sifare. As Farnace tries to forcefully seduce Aspasia, she looks to Sifare for protection and offers him her hand. However, when Mitridate turns up alive, the tense situation explodes with recriminations, accusations and a tragic demise of one of the main characters.
Opening night: 26 June 2017
Closing night: 7 July 2017
Suitable for ages 12+
Three hours 30 minutes, including two intervals.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
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