▸ 20:00 ▸ avec entracte ▸ Grand Théâtre
Arsilda, Regina di Ponto is the seventh opera by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, written in Venice in 1716 and incorporating a complex sense of intrigue and virtuoso musical creativity. This version of the work has been resurrected by Czech harpsichordist and conductor Václav Luks.
Creating the work had proven rather problematic since it was initially rejected by the censoring authorities. Librettist Domenico Lalli was also a somewhat disreputable character – an armed bank robber, father to some 20 or so children and something of an adventurist –, despite which Vivaldi would collaborate with him on a number of occasions.
The story, meanwhile, is one of the most complex, with Arsilda, daughter of the king of Ponto, simultaneously attracting the amorous attentions of Tamese, prince of Cilicia, and Barzane, king of Lydia. Following a tragic chain of circumstances, Lisea, the sister of Tamese, previously believed to have perished in a shipwreck, comes to take Tamese’s place disguised as a man.
Vivaldi’s score for Arsilda, Regina di Ponto is “prodigious and brimming with creativity and energy”, expertly performed by Prague-based ensemble Collegium 1704, offering a dynamic and punchy interpretation of this rich and turbulent piece.