Whilst the Royal Opera House regularly stages the work of Verdi, Mozart or Donizetti – making them well known composers around the world – few people will have heard of the Italian composer Agostino Steffani, whose work has been mostly forgotten since his death in 1728. Amongst his compositions is the tale “Niobe, Regina di Tebe” which was recently revived to great success and will be given a new chance to shine at the Royal Opera in 2010. It has been many years since it was first performed in the 1680s, but it is likely to become a renowned piece of work in the modern day and will hopefully receive the attention that it finally deserves.
Niobe, Regine di Tebe follows Niobe - the Queen of Thebes, this time performed by French soprano Vèronique Gens, as she receives a harsh and devastating punishment at the hands of the gods. Having boasted to them of her power, she causes them great anger and they decide to get their revenge on her by slaying all of her children. It also features Jacek Laszczkowski in the role of Niobe’s husband Anfione, whilst a skilled team tackles further roles under conductor Thomas Hengelbrock.
Both of the performers have earned themselves admirers over the years for their work in Europe, with Gens receiving acclaim for her recordings of renowned work and Laszczkowski receiving particular acclaim in Germany.
Composer Agostino Steffani put together a wealth of operas during his time, though his compositions are often overlooked in favour of other composers of the same era, some considering his work lesser to more established names. He was also a diplomat and was regularly found travelling to different part of the world as an ambassador, which took up much of his time, though he did manage to put together the likes of “Enrico il Leone” and “I Baccanali”, amongst others, for the Opera House in Honover and, as a result, managed to get his work out there.
He penned “Niobe, Regine di Tebe” for 1688 and whilst it would be overlooked for centuries, it was eventually looked up in 2008 for a performance at the Schwetzingen Festival. This is the version that sets up shop at the Royal Opera House in September, where it will provide a new and unique gem even for regular audiences.
Niobe, Regina di Tebe is at the Royal Opera House from Thursday 23rd September 2010 to Sunday 3rd October 2010.
|Booking From:||Thursday, 23rd September 2010|
|Booking Until:||Sunday, 3rd October 2010|
|Running Time:||4 hours|
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