The fairytale-like story takes place in the valley of Tempe in Greece. The opera tells of the obstacles to the blissful union of Dorilla (a princess) and Elmiro (a shepherd), whose rival Nomio turns out to be the disguised god Apollo.
First perfromed in 1726 in Venice Vivaldi’s affection for Dorilla might be explained by its own, sheer success. He revisited and revised it a number of times and the work returned to Venice for the carnival season of 1734. The only surviving score (preserved in the Vivaldi archives in Turin) dates from this revival. The score also shows Vivaldi quoting himself, notably in the opening chorus, which reworks part of Spring from his celebrated Four Seasons (published shortly before the original 1726 production). But it is fitting how ‘Dell’aura al sussurrar’ heralds the arrival of spring since one of the themes of the opera is pastoral. Vivaldi labelled the work, unusually, as a melodramma eroico-pastorale – balancing the pastoral elements, the heroic is represented especially by the hunt that brings Act 2 to a close, complete with the requisite yet still exciting horn accompaniment – and the work’s hybrid nature extends to end-of-act ballets similar to the divertissements in French Baroque opera.
Directed by Fabio Ceresa - Winner of the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Young Director. This will be Fabio's third time directing at Wexford Festival Opera. In 2015 he directed the critically acclaimed Guglielmo Ratcliff (Nominated Best Opera production at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards) and in 2016 he directed Maria de Rudenz.
Libretto by Antonio Maria Lucchini. Sung in Italian with English surtitles
“Behind a Georgian terrace in a small fishing town in Ireland something extraordinary happens every October.”
Watch & Listen
Streamed on RTÉ, November 2, 2019, live from the National Opera House in Wexford - Wexford Festival Opera's production of 'Dorilla in Tempe' by Antonio Vivaldi.