Mozart's Idomeneo

Jean-Louis Grinda (stage director), Fabio Biondi (conductor) — With Ian Koziara (Idomeneo), Maria Grazia Schiavo (Ilia), Annalisa Stroppa (Idamante) …

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Jean-Louis Grinda — Stage director

Laurent Castaingt — Set designer, lighting designer

Jorge Jara — Costume designer

Arnaud Pottier — Video

Ian Koziara — Idomeneo

Annalisa Stroppa — Idamante

Maria Grazia Schiavo — Ilia

Nino Machaidze — Elettra

Riccardo Della Sciucca — Arbace

Inho Jeong — The Voice

Orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Chorus of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Fabio Biondi — Conductor

Program notes

Live from the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, (re)discover an opera seria masterpiece by Mozart: Idomeneo, re di Creta! This excellent production by Jean-Louis Grinda, whose work we are always delighted to broadcast, features a stellar vocal cast, starting with American tenor Ian Koziara in a title role tour de force: "a tenor is born," raves La Libre; "[Koziara is] not only a born performer capable of conveying all his character's complex contradictions, but also an incredible voice with rich and substantial highs, a generous middle range, and resonant lows, all with remarkable cohesion and agility." Acclaimed Italian mezzo Annalisa Stroppa impresses as Idomeneo's daughter Idamante (originally a castrato role), as do Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, "nearly faultless … and vocally stupendous," and the always excellent ORWL Orchestra under maestro Fabio Biondi, one of the world's leading 18th-century music experts.

In 1779, after looking for work all over Europe, Mozart returned to Salzburg at his father's behest. It was not an easy or uneventful period: Mozart fell in love with a woman who did not return his affection—and his mother, who was traveling with him, died while they were in Paris. The year after his return, the Munich Opera commissioned from him a work based on the myth of Idomeneus of Crete, whose homecoming from the Trojan War did not go as planned… The young composer, inspired by the legend, set about creating Idomeneo, re di Creta, and the opera's 1781 premiere met with immediate and resounding public favor thanks to its virtuosic arias and enchanting orchestral flourishes.

Photo © J. Berger / ORWL

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