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Olomouc Baroque Festival

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Jezuitský konvikt UP | Olomouc, 7. – 28.7.2019

7th year of summer evenings with Baroque theatre in the historical scenery of ancient Olomouc.

The city of Olomouc has prepared a special event for lovers of Baroque: a tour of Baroque landmarks enriched by summer evenings with Baroque opera on the premises of the former Jesuit monastery. The program has been prepared by the artistic ensemble Damians and you can enjoy not only Baroque arias, but also richly decorated costumes.

Enjoy Olomouc Baroque Festival during a 3-day stay in Olomouc for the best price!


July 7-8, 7.00 PM

Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf: Il tribunale di Giove (Berlin 1775)

Modern premiere of classicist serenata

The serenata premiered on January 24, 1775, during birthday celebrations for Prussian King Frederick the Great. In the prologue, the allegorical figure Genius of Europe, accompanied by Time, tears off the veil of Fate and asks him who should rule the continent to ensure prosperity and peace. Fate defers to the decision of Jupiter himself and sends them to Olympus. In the one-act serenata, the gods Apollo, Minerva, Mars, and Fortuna, with the support of their choirs, lecture on different concepts for governing the European Union. Jupiter finally announces that he already has a man who combines the merits of all divine rivals: the Prussian king, who is celebrating his birthday.

The handwritten score dating to 1774 is preserved at the Royal College of Music in London. The same date is given for the performance of the serenata at Jánský vrch. It is possible that it was a kind of local rehearsal or prepreview, a practice that Ditters' autobiography indicates was employed with other works.

July 9-12, 7.00 PM

Piramo e Tisbe (Olomouc 1712) premiere

Tomáš Hanzlík: Endymio (Kroměříž 1727)

Two Neo-Baroque operas

Only the librettos have been preserved from the two operas devoted to Olomouc Bishop Wolfgang Hannibal von Schrattenbach.
The first tells the tragic story of young lovers whose parents stand in their way. Thisbe is surprised by a lioness at their secret nighttime meeting place by the spring. As she flees, she loses her veil, which the lioness tears apart in its mouth bloody from the bull it had just killed. Assuming his love is dead, Pyramos commits suicide. When Thisbe returns and grasps his tragic mistake, she kills herself with his sword. Their blood is splashed on the nearby mulberries, which have been the colour purple ever since, just like the bishop's anticipated purple cardinal's robe. Piramo e Tisbe, the first documented opera performed in Moravia, was composed on the occasion of the episcopal ordination of Wolfgang Hanibal of Schrattenbach. The work was created by Salzburg artists: librettist Francesco Maria Raffaelini with the musical score by Matthias Sigismund Biechteler, the court composer of the Salzburg archbishop. The original ancient love story known from Ovid's Metamorphoses is used to compare the bond between the noble heart of the bishop and his new place of residence. Olomouc is portrayed as the heavens in which the personality of the new bishop glows like the sun. Mulberries stained by the blood of the ill-fated lovers and which have been purple ever since, also refer to the colour of the bishop's expected purple cardinal's robe. Only the Italian libretto has been preserved from the opera, to which Hanzlík has added certain Latin parts of Ovid's original text.

The conflict in the myth about Endymion lies in his beauty. However, he rejects problematic love that gradually awakens in everyone and prefers eternal sleep, which, however, ensures him immortality. This parable of the ageless beauty of art was a reference to the aesthetic preferences of the Olomouc bishop. The opera premiered on the bishop's birthday and the lost music and libretto were written by the Piarist composer P. David Kopecký and S. Joanne.

July 13-16, 7.00 PM

František Antonín Míča: Singing Meditation (Jaroměřice na Rokytnou 1727)

Scenic oratorio and period sermon in Baroque Czech

Míč's only preserved oratorio composed for Count Qustenberg works with the original German text. However, there is a period Czech translation in which the piece had not yet been heard. It was performed before the backdrop of the Holy Sepulchre by the allegorical figures of Compassion, Soul and Sinner coming to terms with Christ's sacrifice, which encourages them to follow in his footsteps and reject all earthly concerns.
The first part of the evening will also offer a modern premiere of the Concerto for Harpsichord by Josef Antonín Štěpán and the period sermon of Pavel Josef Axlar adapted as a melodrama.

July 17-20, 9.00 PM

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Le Veglie ossequiose (Laxenburg 1679)

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Die sieben Alter stimben zu samben (Prague 1680)

The modern premiere of two Baroque serenatas

The first serenata was performed on the evening of January 18, on the birthday of Austrian Archduchess Maria Antonia. To create the text, librettist Johann Albrecht Rudolph worked with the Ptolemy's seven stages of human life. Childhood celebrates the archduchess's beauty and places her above Venus. Time preserves this beauty forever. All of the characters promise to follow the archduchess and remain faithful to her. She is also praised by Ingenuity and Virtue. Adult age sends Pheme into the world to proclaim that she is bowing to the archduchess. Rational age promises Maria Antonia fertility. The coming age calls Diana and asks her to organise a festive hunt. Other goddesses arrive. Pallas assures the participants that he will restrain all enemies and order loyalty from subjects. Juno gives the archduchess wealth and fame. The ending age wishes the birthday girl health and new strength for coming life. Old age symbolically passes on control and invites the Muses on stage to sing a final tribute based on Apollo's request.
The second work was composed to celebrate the birthday of Austrian Emperor Leopold I on June 9. The performance took place at Laxenburg Castle on the water surface of the moat in the castle garden. The text was written by the imperial court poet Nicolò Minato. There are five characters in the work - allegories: Fortune, Virtue, Jubilation, Pleasure, Nocturnal Silence. The characters compare the emperor's virtues to the infinite sea and also emphasise the need for vigilance while at sea.

July 21-24, 7.00 PM

Pietro Andrea Ziani: L'Elice (Vídeň 1666)

Modern opera premiere

A comic opera with elements of commedia dell´arte composed for the birthday of Emperor Leopold I's mother loosely deals with the myth of the Kallisto nymph, who is renamed Elice in this piece. As Diana's partner, she was to remain chaste and renounce other lovers. Her father, King Lycaon, kept careful tabs on her. Jupiter himself tries to seduce her disguised as a courtier. When the unsuspecting king tries to drive him away with a javelin, he misses and is transformed into a wolf. Diana turns the sinful Elice into a bear. Jupiter takes advantage of this metamorphosis in his own way and takes his mistress into the heavens as a constellation. At the end of the opera, the emperor's sisters danced ballet to music by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer preserved in Kroměříž.

July 25-28, 7.00 PM

Tomáš Hanzlík: Lacrimae Alexandri magni (Lipník nad Bečvou 1764, Praha 2007)

Neo-Baroque opera

The original Latin play was meant to motivate students of the Piarist grammar school to be ambitious. However, the plot based on a short episode of Plutarch's biography of Alexander of Macedonia instead treats this character trait with irony. When the twelve-year-old Macedonian prince hears a prophecy of a tearful future, he interprets it to mean his father had been defeated in war. The moment he sets out with his own troops to help his father, a messenger arrives with news of his father's victory. Alexander is reduced to tears because he fears he will never measure up to his father.

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Olomoucké barokní slavnosti03 Olomoucké barokní slavnosti04 Olomoucké barokní slavnosti01 (Jan Andreáš) Olomoucké barokní slavnosti02 (Jan Andreáš)


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This project is financed by the European Union and the Olomouc Region
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Olomoucký kraj Evropská unie Regionální operační program Střední Morava Interreg IIIA