Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s only opera for Rome was written to an existing libretto by the great Pietro Metastasio, L’Olimpiade, which had already been set by Vivaldi the year previously. It eventually became the most widely used libretto in history, inspiring more than 60 composers including Piccinni, Cimarosa, Paisiello, and Donizetti. When Pergolesi’s version premiered at the Teatro Tordinona in Rome in January 1735 the words on the page were still relatively warm which, apparently, could not be said of our young composer who would be dead the following March of tuberculosis at the age of 26.
This 2011 presentation of the Pergolesi Spontini Foundation is now on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of our friends at Arthaus Musik and documents a thoughtful staging that aspires to the highest musical standard. Read more »