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Thus "Idomeneo," which completely renewed the genre of opera seria that was thought to be dead, opens the series of Mozart's operas of the mature period. Written in 1781 as a commissioned work for the excellent ensemble of the Munich Residence Theater, he was able to draw musically from a full range for his most extensive and ambitious work.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Staatsoper Unter den Linden © visitBerlin, Foto Diana Häner

Mozart's hope of finding a new job and leaving Salzburg with this piece as his calling card was admittedly not fulfilled. But it was precisely this ambition that necessitated an exceptional score: with demanding arias, differentiated role portraits, a virtuoso orchestral part, and several large choral scenes that are among the most impressive in Mozart's oeuvre.

A storm rages off Crete, forcing King Idomeneo, returning from the Trojan War, to make a fateful promise to Neptune: if the enraged god would let him reach land safely, he would sacrifice to him the first man he would meet. Arriving on the beach, Idomeneo meets his son Idamante, of all people.

But the irreconcilable world of the gods seems to insist on the fulfillment of the promise. The storm that Mozart's music so hauntingly conjures up rages not only outdoors, but also in all the opera's characters. Whether father and son, whether the two out-of-town royal daughters Ilia and Elettra, who hope for better days after the traumatizing war - they are all helplessly at the mercy of natural as well as emotional forces, which the music of the 25-year-old Mozart vividly portrays.

(Program in German)

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Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Apollosaal