Richard Lewis, Leo Goeke, Bozena Betley, Josephine Barstow
Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra / John Pritchard
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Idomeneo
Although Idomeneo is one of Mozart's lesser known operas, it sparkles with the composer's usual brilliant melodies. Glyndebourne became the main advocate of the opera in the 50s and 60s, and yet despite this, Idomeneo was still considered by 1974 something of a rarity.
During a ferocious storm Idomeneo, the King of Crete, makes a vow to Neptune, offering a sacrifice (the first human being Idomeneo sees) in return for the god's help in bringing his ship safely to shore. As it turns out, this is his own son, Idamante. This dilemma can only be solved by the unselfish love of Ilia, who is willing to give her life in his stead.
Richard Lewis once again confirms his position as the world's leading exponent of this opera, in the title role of Idomeneo, with Josephine Barstow equally mesmerising in her portrayal of Elettra's agony. This significantly shortened version begins with Idomeneo alone on the beach after having survived the fierce storm. John Cox uses strikingly dark staging, echoing the drama of the action, and according to Mozart's original directions includes drowning sailors and the infamous Act II sea monster.