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Libretto by Abbate Giambattista Varesco after a French opera by Campra and Danchet. Revised German text by Lothar Wallenstein (G)

Scoring

S,lyricS,dramaticS,T,Bar,2B; chorus;
2.picc.2.2.2-4.2.3.0-timp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
1/29/1781
Munich
Company: Unknown

World premiere of version
4/16/1931
Vienna
Company: Vienna State Opera

Roles

IDOMENEO, King of Crete Tenor
IDAMANTES, his son Soprano
ILIA, Priamos's daughter Lyric Soprano
ISMENE, priestess Dramatic Soprano
HIGH PRIEST Bass
ARBACES Baritone
A VOICE Bass
Trojan captives, Cretan sailors, Cretan people, Priests
Time and Place

The isle of Crete after the Trojan war

Synopsis



Idamantes, the son of the Cretan king Idomeneo, took Ilia, the daughter of the Trojan king Priamos, home with him as booty after the end of the Trojan war. Ilia’s feelings vacillate between hate and affection. For on the one hand, Idamentes the victor, is guilty of her father’s death and the ruin of her people. On the other hand, he has saved her life and protects her and the other prisoners against the priestess Ismene who demands the death of the Trojans. Ilia is also afraid of Ismene’s jealousy, who has devoted her life to service in the temple because Idamantes did not return her love. Idamantes informs Ilia of the imminent, happy return of his father and confesses his love to her. Their liaison is expected to seal the peace between the two peoples after the long war. – A storm destroys the Cretan fleet shortly before their arrival. Miraculously, Idomeneo has survived. But the vow he made in a state of agony to sacrifice the first human being he encounters on shore, conjures up an even greater catastrophe, for it is Idamantes, his own son, who hurries to meet him on the beach ...

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Josef Witt/Else Schürhoff/Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Vienna State Opera Chorus/Josef Krips
Koch Schwann 314532
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