Max Emanuel Cencic © Anna Hoffmann


For a long time, Nicola Antonio Porpora was known to later generations only as the singing teacher of the famous castrato Farinelli. During his lifetime, however, he enjoyed a reputation as a successful opera composer, and George Frideric Handel feared him as a rival. In recent years, musicologists and musicians have at last begun to rediscover Porpora's operas, and they are proving to be veritable feasts of the art of singing. His Germanico in Germania was first performed in Rome in 1732, only to disappear into the archives for over 250 years. In 2015, the opera was successfully revived at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The work portrays a family of Germanic princes during the Romans' onslaught against their city. The family is split between those members who advocate resistance and those who favour appeasement. A love story involving a Teuton and a Roman further complicates matters. It is the Romans who finally win the battle, but the courage of the defeated Teutons causes the Roman generals to show respectful clemency, and the enemies put aside their differences.