Disguise and transvestism were an essential part of opera plots from the Venetian origins of this genre. In line with this tradition - continued by ópera seria – the episode of Aquiles on the island of Esciros inspired more than 30 compositions for voice based on the libretto of Metastasio in 1737: Tetis, mother of Aquiles, disguises her son as a woman to hide him in the court of King Licomedes and prevent his participation in the Trojan War. (What else is missing?). However, the plan begins to come apart when Aquiles, incapable of subduing his virility, falls in love with Princess Deidamia.
Francesco Corselli is a fundamental name in Spanish opera of the 18th century: as Kapellmeister of the Royal Chapel of Madrid for nearly 30 years, he was the principal supplier of opera to the Spanish court. Some of these were under the artistic direction of the famous castrato Farinelli. First seen in 1744 at the Real Coliseo del Buen Retiro in Madrid, Achille in Sciro was composed to celebrate the marriage of the Infanta of Spain, Maria Teresa Rafaela to the Dauphin of France. Staging this opera was postponed by the interruption of the pandemic and it represents a momentous milestone in the recovery of our musical heritage.
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Opera drammatica in three acts
Music by Francesco Corselli (1705-1778)
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio
Premiered for the firts time at the Real Coliseo del Buen Retiro de Madrid, 8 December 1744
Retrieved by the Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales (ICCMU)
Premiere at the Teatro Real
New production of the Teatro Real, in co-production with Theater an der Wien
Musical Conductor and harpsichordist I Ivor Bolton
Stage Director I Mariame Clément
Stage and Costume Designer I Julia Hansen
Choreographer I Mathieu Guilhaumon
Lighting Designer I Ulrik Gad
Baroque Orchestra of Seville
Principal Chorus of the Teatro Real
Licomede | Mirco Palazzi
Ulises | Tim Mead
Deidamia | Francesca Aspromonte
Teagene | Sabina Puértolas
Achille / Pirra | Gabriel Díaz
Arcade | Krystian Adam
Nearco | Juan Sancho