Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria

Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria
Opera Settecento, Leo Duarte
Cadogan Hall, 16 September 2015

progamme_cover_a4Pergolesi is often seen as one-horse-wonder, rather unfairly as he died aged just 26, composing his famous Stabat mater just before his death.  His other works, including several operas, are usually ignored. He was one of the first composers (of around 70) to write an opera based on Metastasio’s take on Adriano in Siria (Hadrian in Syria), two years after the libretto was written, and two years before his death. The plot is based on the story of Hadrian in his days as Governor of Syria in Antioch (where he first became Emperor), and his love for his prisoner (and daughter of the Parthian King Osroa) Emirena who, in turn, is betrothed to Farnaspe, a Parthian prince. As these things inevitably go in opera seria, Adriano is married to Sabina, who, in turn, is loved by Aquilio. Rather bizarrely, Osroa tries to rescue his daughter by setting fire to the palace that she lives in. Of course, it all ends up well – the condemned Osroa is forgiven, Farnaspe marries Emirena, and Adriano stays with his wife Sabina.  Continue reading

J C Bach: Adriano in Siria

J C Bach: Adriano in Siria
Classical Opera.
Britten Theatre. 14 April 2015

Johann Christian Bach, JSB’s youngest son, arrived in London in 17 62, aged 26. He stayed for the rest of his life, earning the epitaph of the ‘London Bach’. Two years later, the 8-year old Mozart arrived in London with his family. During his 15-month stay, Mozart wrote his first symphonies and opera arias and absorbed the influence of the many musicians that had flocked to post-Handelian London. JC Bach was a particular influence on the young Mozart. He later wrote of Bach: “I love him with all my heart, and have the highest regard for him.”. This influence is reflected in Classical Opera’s choice of Continue reading