Temistocle (J.C. Bach)
|Johann Christian Bach|
Temistocle (Themistocles) is an opera seria in three acts by the German composer Johann Christian Bach. The Italian text is an extensive revision of the libretto by Metastasio first set by Antonio Caldara in 1736, by Mattia Verazi, court poet and private secretary to the Elector Palatine Carl Theodor. The opera was the first of two which J.C. Bach set for the Elector Palatine. Some of the music was reused from earlier works, including part of the overture from Carattaco (composed in London in 1767).
Temistocle was first performed at the Hoftheater in Mannheim on 4 November 1772, with a notable cast including Anton Raaff and Dorothea and Elisabeth Wendling, all singers that later worked with Mozart.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 4 November 1772
(Conductor: - )
|Temistocle (Themistocles), Athenian general and politician||tenor||Anton Raaff|
|Aspasia, daughter of Temistocle, in love with Lisimaco||soprano||Dorothea Wendling|
|Rossana (Roxana), a princess, in love with Serse||soprano||Elisabeth Wendling|
|Lisimaco (Lysimachus), Athenian ambassador and friend of Temistocle||soprano castrato||Silvio Giorgetti|
|Serse, King of Persia (Xerxes I of Persia)||bass||Giovanni Battista Zonca|
|Neocle (Neocles), son of Temistocle||soprano castrato||Francesco Roncaglia|
|Sebaste (Sebastes), confidant of Serse, later a conspirator against him||alto castrato||Vincenzo Mucciolo|
The opera takes place in Persia. Temistocle, together with his son Neocle, has been expelled from Athens. He arrives incognito at Susa, the capital of his arch-enemy King Serse, to find that his daughter Aspasia (in love with the Athenian ambassador Lisimaco) has also made her way there, following a shipwreck. Eventually all is revealed and Serse magnanimously pardons everybody, unites the lovers and makes peace with Athens.
There are no complete recordings of the opera, generally available, though the overture is available on CD, for example on Johann Christian Bach: Complete Opera Overtures, performed by the Hanover Band conducted by Anthony Halstead (CPO Records 9999632, 2003). WorldCat records a CD made of the opera Temistocle available at http://www.worldcat.org/title/j-c-bach-temistocle/oclc/604044585. A complete recording may be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYz4pRz9FC0
- Grove gives the date as 5 November while Amadeus has 4 November.