Intermezzo tragico in two acts (1768)
Music by Johann Adolph Hasse
Libretto by Marco Coltellini
Opera in concert in Italian
Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 7 pm until 9.15 pm (Intermission: 7.50 pm)
From 1725 on, Johann Adolph Hasse had a glittering career. It had begun in Italy, and he spent thirty productive years as court music director in Dresden, famed all over Europe, until the Seven Years' War forced him to leave. In 1764, Hasse moved on to Vienna. Unfortunately for him, this was precisely the time when the reformed opera developed by Christoph Willibald Gluck was all the rage in Vienna, and nobody apart from conservative circles at the court of Maria Theresa was interested in the old opera seria that Hasse wrote. Piramo e Tisbe from 1768 was his penultimate opera. In it, he cautiously tried to break away from the rigid constraints of opera seria and incorporated contemporary ideas. Hasse himself regarded this intermezzo tragico as one of his best works and it was performed many times in Europe. He provided this drama about the fatal misunderstanding of a pair of lovers with a rich orchestral score and chiefly used recitatives with orchestral accompaniment so that the opera forms a particularly cohesive unit.