Český Krumlov to host world premiere of 17th-century opera

This year's Festival of Baroque Arts in Český Krumlov will open with the first-ever performance of La Vaghezza del Fato, an opera written in 1672.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 03.04.2022 09:57:00 (updated on 08.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

An opera written in the 17th century but never staged will have what is most likely its world premiere at this year's Festival of Baroque Arts, organizers have announced. The 15th edition of the annual festival will take place in Český Krumlov from September 16-18, 2022.

La Vaghezza del Fato, a Baroque opera written by Italian composer and violinist Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani, will both open and close this year's festival.

The opera was written for the Habsburg imperial court in 1672 but was never performed; according to available information, its staging at the Festival of Baroque Arts will be its first in 350 years.

Baroque Theatre at Český Krumlov Castle. Photo: Festival barokních umění Český Krumlov
Baroque Theatre at Český Krumlov Castle. Photo: Festival barokních umění Český Krumlov

The opera was originally intended to be performed in Vienna during carnival in 1672. However, Emperor Leopold I's newborn daughter died and carnival celebrations including the opera were cancelled for mourning.

"The circumstances of the creation and performance of this Viviani opera are interesting," Jiří Kiprý, director of the Festival of Baroque Arts, states in a press release.

"According to surviving sources, it was intended to be performed at the Imperial Court in Vienna during the carnival of 1672, but was cancelled due to official mourning and the cancellation of carnival performances."

"Viviani's La Vaghezza del Fato was therefore not heard, the libretto was not reprinted and the original manuscript was stored in the emperor's music collection. Our performance of this opera will most likely be its world premiere."

A native of Florence, Viviani wrote operas and oratorios for Venice, Rome, and Naples but worked most of his life for the Hapsburgs in Innsbruck and Vienna. He's considered to be one of the most important figures in Italian opera in the second half of the 17th century, when the style was beginning to spread to the north.

The Festival of Baroque Arts in Český Krumlov presents baroque music works with authentic period-era sets and costumes. The event has taken place annually in the Czech town since 2008, and traditionally premieres at the Baroque Theatre at Český Krumlov Castle with the presentation of an opera.

This year, Viviani's La Vaghezza del Fato will be performed by the Hof-Musici Baroque orchestra under conductor Ondřej Macek with vocals by Zuzana Vrbová.

This year's festival will take place in Český Krumlov from September 16-18. More information and tickets to individual performances can be found here.

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