During his trips to Mannheim and Paris in 1777/78, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart picked up a great many ideas which he was eager to develop into works of his own. In 1780, the court at Munich commissioned him to write a major opera for the 1781 carnival. Idomeneo, then, is a dramaturgical and musical experiment: in it, Mozart combined forms of French and Italian opera. He told the haunting tale of human sacrifice with as much drama and variety as he could, using chorus and dance sequences.
In Munich, Mozart had one of the best orchestras of the day at his disposal, and it is for this reason that the instrumental colors play a more important role than in all his other operas. Using only the sound of the orchestra, Mozart subtly portrays the emotional turmoil of the characters as they are faced with the question of how much their own lives and how much the lives of others are worth.
CastRichard Croft | Gaëlle Arquez | Marlis Petersen | Sophie Karthäuser | Julien Behr | Mirko Guadagnini
Number of actsOpera in 1 act
Total running time2 h 52 min
Running time by actAct I: 54 min | Act II: 41 min | Act III: 77 min
Sung inItalianShare on Facebook