Jommelli: Il Vologeso
Format: COMPACT DISC
The Mozartists; Summerfield, Gemma; France, Jennifer; Verney, Tom; Simkin, Angela; Kelly, Rachel; Jackson, Stuart; Page, Ian
The Mozartists continue their MOZART 250 project of staging operas by Mozart and his contemporaries with their recording of the UK premiére of Niccolò Jommelli’s Il Vologeso, first performed over 250 years ago on 11 February 1766 for the Stuttgart court in Ludwigsburg. For this eagerly awaited performance The Mozartists assembled a superb young cast, headed by the Irish mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, a graduate of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, tenor Stuart Jackson, a former Mozartists Associate Artist, and soprano Gemma Lois Summerfield, winner of the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Jommelli was born just north of Naples in 1714 (the same year as Gluck) and died there in 1774. Largely forgotten now, he was one of the most celebrated composers of his day, and during a career which spanned thirty-seven years he wrote some eighty operas as well as a great number of sacred works. He was seen as an important and progressive composer in combining the vocal melodiousness and lyricism of Italian opera with more elaborate and dramatically charged elements of French opera. Set in Ephesus, on the western extremes of the Parthian Empire, in c.164 AD, Il Vologeso centres on Berenice, a woman who becomes caught between two men – the victorious Roman general Lucio Vero, and Vologeso, King of the Parthians (thought dead, but recently returned after his defeat battle). The Mozartists, under the dynamic leadership of conductor and artistic director Ian Page, are leading exponents of the music of Mozart and his contemporaries. Originally called Classical Opera, the company was founded in 1997, and has received widespread international acclaim for its stylish and virtuosic period-instrument orchestra, its imaginative and innovative programming, and its ability to nurture and develop world-class young artists.