Oper konzertant

Le nozze di teti, e di peleo


  1. 26.02.2013
  2. 7:30 p.m.

Gioachino Rossini, court composer to Ferdinand IV, King of the Two Sicilies, wrote the one-act cantata Le nozze di Teti, e di Peleo on the occasion of the wedding of Princess Maria Carolina to the Duke of Berry as “a most humble homage to His Majesty”. The story of the wedding of Thetis and Peleus to the textbook by Angelo Maria Ricco was first performed on 24 April, 1816, at the Teatro del Fondo in Naples. The Neapolitan poet Ricci adapted the ancient legend of Thetis, the sea-nymph, for his opulent stage spectacle. Zeus himself wanted to seduce Thetis, most beautiful of the nymphs. But the warning that Thetis’s son could become even greater than his father persuaded even the omnipotent king of the gods not to pursue a liaison for once. In the end, the mortal Peleus wins the hand of the nymph in marriage and together they produce Achilles, the most famous hero in ancient mythology. For this story fit for an imperial couple, Rossini composed virtually no new music, instead rearranging and adapting earlier compositions. However, he skilfully wove them together to create what was a new work in its own right. Considering the piece a oneoff for a particular occasion, Rossini subsequently ignored it and the cantata was thought lost. It was not until the 1960s that the autograph was rediscovered in the conservatory in Naples.