JUNE 15 & 16, 2007 at 8:00 pm
Lothrup Auditorium, Community Church of Boston
Music by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Conducted and arranged by Jordan Rodu
Stage direction by J. Jacob Krause
Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Ethan Bremner - Idomeneo
Cabiria Jacobsen - Idamante
Brittany Duncan - Ilia
Natalie Polito - Elettra
Spyridon Antonopoulos - Arbace
Adrian - La Voce
Robert C. Adams
Barbara A. Hill
Maureen P. Hogan
James C. Liu
Alison L. Moll
Barbara Goodwin Papesch
We are in Crete, just after the Trojan war. King Priam’s daughter, Ilia, has been sent ahead of the victorious King Idomeneo, along with other Trojan prisoners. Already in Crete is Elettra, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, who has fled her homeland of Mycenae for fear of death at her mother’s hand. Left behind in Crete as an infant, Idomeneo’s son Idamante is now a young man, beloved of both Ilia and Elettra. Although he loves Ilia, she can only acknowledge him as an enemy of her father. In an attempt to show his good will toward her and Troy, Idamante frees the Trojan prisoners and declares his love. Arbace, the King’s friend and confidant, brings the heady scene to a halt with news of Idomeneo’s death in a storm at sea.
Alone on the seashore, the shipwrecked Idomeneo wonders at the vow that he has made to Neptune; in exchange for his life he has offered to sacrifice the first person he sees in Crete. Far off, a young man approaches, and Idomeneo flees when he realizes that it is his son. Women arrive on the beach, greeting their long-departed husbands and looking forward to the grateful sacrifice they hope to make to Neptune.
Arbace councils Idomeneo to send Idamante back to Mycenae with Elettra in order to deflect the anger of the sea-god. This pleases Elettra, but Idomeneo suspects Ilia’s love, and is again made painfully aware of the effects his vow will have on his kingdom and his family’s happiness. His anger at his own rash actions overcomes him, while Elettra is appeased by the possibility of marrying Idamante.
As the travelers try to depart from the port of Sidon, a huge storm descends, and a sea serpent emerges and lays waste to the city. The king offers himself as sacrifice, but is not heard by the angry sea god.
Ilia is meditating on her love for Idamante when he appears, proclaiming what he believes to be his unrequited love for the last time before he faces the sea serpent. Overcome with emotion, Ilia confesses her love. The pair are surprised by Idomeneo and Elettra, who are still attempting to get Idamante out of the country in order to save his life. Idamante demands to know the reasons for his father’s coldness, but receives no answer. A High Priest summons them all to the temple to answer the throngs who have gathered there. Confronted with his people, Idomeneo confesses that the victim is his own son.
As the people pray for mercy, Arbace announces Idamante’s defeat of the sea serpent. Dressed for sacrifice, Idamante enters and proclaims that he is ready to die. As Idomeneo prepares to kill his son, Ilia throws herself forward and offers her own life instead. In the midst of the confusion a voice is heard. It is the oracle of Neptune, proclaiming the victory of love, and demanding that Idamante and Ilia be crowned on the throne of Crete in Idomeneo’s place. Elettra is enraged and threatens suicide as the crowd rejoices, and Idomeneo presents them with their new King and Queen.