L'Olimpiade: The Opera (the Olympic Opera)
Released: May 1, 2012
In the 18th century, 1,300 years after the last Olympic Games in ancient times, the Olympic theme was highly fashionable. Many composers based operas on the libretto to 'L'Olimpiade' by Metastasio. This recording has been structured to contain all of Metastasio s original arias; it is a pasticcio in the sense that the music is by 16 different composers amongst the many that set the libretto between 1733 and the end of the century. Venice Baroque Orchestra and its music director Andrea Marcon have a distinguished record of modern-day premieres, including works by Cavalli, Marcello, Handel and Vivaldi. In 2001 they added Cimarosa s 'L Olimpiade', and in 2006, Galuppi s setting of the same Metastasio libretto. Only during research for the Galuppi staging did they become aware that dozens of composers had set the same story, leading to a discussion with Mr. Marcon about creating a 'pasticcio' performance and recording project. The search for manuscripts led to libraries and music conservatories in Milan, Florence, Naples, Venice, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, New York and Washington DC. Over time, several were found online. The objective, of Venice Baroque, is to help introduce important works by lesser-known composers, encouraging others to continue exploring the enormous body of 18th-century Italian opera.