The central character of Mozart’s opera Lucio Silla is inspired by the historical figure of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, a dictator and Roman general who ruled during the 1st century BC. In this production at Madrid’s Teatro Real, an intriguing minimalist staging is complemented by Ivor Bolton’s expert music direction, and a talented cast.
Composed when he was just 16, Mozart’s opera Lucio Silla offers incredible perspective on the child prodigy’s compositional genius. Premiered in Milan in December 1772, his third opera and second opera seria is marked by contemporary Neapolitan tastes and puts on full display the young Mozart’s total mastery of his personal musical language, a language that would become familiar as he went on to compose his best known masterpieces.
The opera’s dramatic plot opens to Lucio Silla becoming infatuated with Giunia, the daughter of his enemy Caius Marius, who herself is in love with Cecilio, a Roman senator exiled by Silla. Giunia rejects Lucio Silla. Meanwhile, his sister Celia conspires with Cinna, his brother's political enemy, to attack him... This profound moral reflection on revenge, betrayal, honor, and forgiveness eventually leads to an unexpected outcome.