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Spontini had finished La vestale by the summer of 1805 but had faced opposition from leading members of the Opéra and rivalry from fellow composers.The premiere was made possible with the help of Spontini's patron, the Empress Josephine, but only after being rearranged by Jean-Baptiste Rey and Louis-Luc Loiseau de Persuis. La vestale was an enormous success, enjoying over two hundred performances by 1830. Especially the title role is a challenge for great artists such as Maria Callas. Julia's solo scene in the second act, in which she describes in agitated pathos her torn between the duty to the goddess and the yearning for her lover, requires the highest of dramatic and vocal brilliance. Equally impressive is the multifarious choral part: before the walling-in of the sinful priestess, the regret and condemnation of the people and the Vestals alternate with each other; in the finali, many-voiced Crescendi creates an overwhelming pull effect. Spontini realized with this opera in the music the revolutionary aesthetics that Jacques-Louis David had defined in the visual arts with his classicist paintings 20 years earlier. Parallel to David Spontini rose on 1804 by Napoleon newly created imperial court to state artist on. The happy end of La vestale still reflects the belief in the changeability of the conditions propagated by the revolutionary opera. Only here are not humans, but the goddess who brings about a worthwhile solution, she is more enlightened than her patriarchally organized ground staff - happiness comes from above again, which may have been in the spirit of the new emperor. Tragédie lyrique in three acts (1807) Music by Gaspare Spontini Libretto by Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy

Performers

Olaf Schmitt 
dramaturgy 
Elza van den Heever 
soprano 
 (Julia, eine junge Vestalin )
Michael Spyres 
tenor 
 (Licinius )
Sebastian Guèze 
tenor 
 (Cinna )
Franz-Josef Selig 
bass 
 (Hohepriester )
Claudia Mahnke 
alto 
 (Oberste Vestalin )
Johanna Krokovay 
alto 
Dumitru Madarasan 
bass 
 (Anführer der Wahrsager )
Ivan Zinoviev 
bass 
 (Ein Konsul )
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
mixed choir 
Erwin Ortner 
choirmaster 
Wiener Symphoniker
orchestra 

Programme

Gaspare Spontini
"La vestale", Opera in three acts
"La vestale", Opera in three acts
1807
145min
Composer: Gaspare Spontini (*, ✝)

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Saturday19.00
Theater an der Wien
Monday19.00
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Wednesday19.00
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Saturday19.00
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Wednesday19.00
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Location

Theater an der Wien
Linke Wienzeile 6, 1060 Wien
Theater an der Wien

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