'Great Performances' to highlight Mozart's take on the Trojan War in 'Idomeneo'

Posted by Chip Chandler on
Matthew Polenzani stars in "Idomeneo."
Courtesy of Marty Sohl/Metropolitan

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

An early masterpiece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will examine love and vengeance in the wake of the Trojan War during a special broadcast of Great Performances at the Met.

Idomeneo will air at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on Panhandle PBS.

Tenor Matthew Polenzani sings the title role of the King of Crete, with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of his noble son Idamante, soprano Elza van den Heever as Elettra, and soprano Nadine Sierra as Ilia. Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts.

Like many stories from Greek myth, Idomeneo, which premiered in Munich in 1781, explores the motivations and emotions of humans whose fates seem beyond their own control. The opera casts these issues within the framework of the opera seria genre, a stylized format popular in the 18th century that is characterized by a succession of arias and recitatives and a cast of noble characters. Long neglected along with other works of this era, Idomeneo now holds a firm place in the repertoire as the first of Mozart’s operatic masterpieces.

The New York Times proclaimed the production as “The Met Opera at its best. A high point of the season,” and observed that “Mr. Levine conducted, drawing a refined and affecting performance from the great Met orchestra.” The Financial Times, in its five-star review, proclaimed that “Alice Coote exudes noble passion” and “Polenzani emerges utterly compelling in the royal title role.”



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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