A bitter intrigue overshadows the Olympic ideal and the hoped-for victory in one of Pietro Metastasio’s most famous libretti. The purportedly Cretan prince Licida asks his Athenian friend Megacle to compete in the Olympic Games under his name. When Megacle learns that the winner of the games is to be given the hand of Aristea, the king’s daughter, in marriage, he finds himself in a moral dilemma. Aristea is his former lover. But out of loyalty towards his friend, Megacle competes in the Games and wins. This inner conflict between love and friendship almost ends in death and can only be happily resolved after many misunderstandings. Pietro Metastasio, who worked in Vienna and is buried in the Michaelerkirche there, was the most famous librettist of his age. He created the Olympic story about the moral value of victory and defeat for Antonio Caldara in 1733, and the turbulent libretto was immediately set to music by many other composers. The Prague-born composer Josef Mysliveˇcek enjoyed enormous success in Italy and entertained friendly relations with the young Mozart. His successful version of L’Olimpiade was written in 1778 for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Having become infected with syphilis, Mysliveˇcek, who was known by Italian audiences as “Il boemo”, died impoverished and forgotten in Rome. It is only since the late 1990s that his works have gradually been rediscovered.