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Libretto by Ferdinando Moretti (I)

Scoring

5S,T,Bar; 2.2.2.2-4.2.0.0-timp-continuo-strings (2 additional picc, originally probably played by 2 violinists)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
1/12/1788
Teatro Regio Ducale, Torino
Company: .

World premiere of version
7/23/2016
Theater, Würzburg
Conductor: Enrico Calesso
Company: Mainfranken Theater Würzburg

Roles

AGAMEMNON Tenor
ACHILLES Soprano
ULYSSES Soprano
CALCHAS, high priest Baritone
ARCAS, an officer from Agamemnon's household Soprano
IPHIGENIA, daughter of Agamemnon Soprano
ERIPHYLLES, princess of Lesbos Soprano
Virgins, slaves, soldiers and priests
Time and Place

Greece, in ancient times

Synopsis

Chalchas the priest announces the oracle to Agamemnon, who is appalled to hear that Iphigenia has to be sacrificed to secure victory for the Greeks against Troy. Unable to reveal the truth to his daughter, all he tells her is that a harsh destiny awaits her. The victorious Achilles returns from Lesbos with the captured princess Eriphylles. While Achilles is pining for his bride, Iphigenia, Eriphylles – who has fallen in love with him – is consumed by jealousy. Meanwhile, Agamemnon tells Iphigenia that it is the Gods’ wish that she leaves Achilles, whereupon she obediently refuses her bridegroom. During an encounter with Eriphylles, she gets the impression that Achilles may have been unfaithful to her. It is only then that Arcas reveals the oracle to Iphigenia and Achilles. Iphigenia declares herself ready to be sacrificed to help the cause of her home country. While the sacrifice is being prepared, Achilles enters the temple in order to free Iphigenia by force. When the others have managed to calm him down, Chalchas and Eriphylles follow them into the temple and explain the true meaning of the oracle: Eriphylles is actually a daughter of Helena who was fathered before Helena’s marriage to Menelaos. Her real name is also Iphigenia, and it is this Iphigenia who has to be sacrificed in order to redeem her mother’s guilt...
Helen Geyer

Moods

Tragic

Subjects

Mythology




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