Idomeneo, or the Weight of History

Opera in three acts by Mozart
Libretto by Giambattista Varesco 

Following their successful presentation of the operetta Mikado at the Alternative Stage of the National Greek Opera, the Rafi Music Theatre Company, one of the most active theatre companies in Greece, collaborates with Amalia Bennett. On commission by the Company, Bennett directs Mozart’s rarely performed masterpiece Idomeneo. Visual artist Petros Touloudis will design the sets and costumes.
Written in 1871, Idomeneo is Mozart’s first mature work. Inspired by Metastasio’s poetry and Gluck’s elegant classicism, the opera revolves around the fall of Troy and the travails of the eponymous young king of Crete. Idomeneo tackles the issue of generation gap and how each generation deals with history and the past. Several artists have been inspired by the opera. Richard Strauss musically adapted the opera in 1931. In 2008, the contemporary German poet Roland Schimmelpfennig wrote the performance/poem Idomeneus. Mozart’s Idomeneo has been presented in Greece twice: first, in 1955, in a Greek National Opera production, and also in 2011, in concertate form by Jérémie Rhorer’s music ensemble.

Director’s note:
The opera problematizes a bold, strikingly modern issue, still relevant to our times: the struggle of the younger generation to avoid being crushed under the weight of collective history; the struggle of the older generation to avoid being crushed under the weight of their personal history. The clash between the young and the old pervades the opera. Written in a period of social unrest, a few years before the French Revolution, Idomeneo reflects the ambiguity of a transitional period in history, not unlike the one we are currently going through.

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Conduction - Οrchestration: Michalis Papapetrou
Direction: Amalia Bennett
Set and costume design: Petros Touloudis 
Vocals: Anastasia Kotsali, Lito Messini, Nikolas Maraziotis, Varvara Biza, Dimitris Nalmpantis, Eleni Stamidou
With a seven-member music ensemble
Co-production: Athens Festival - Municipal and Regional Theatre of Roumeli




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