Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Lost Vivaldi Opera Finally Gets Its Music and Words Together
By ALAN RIDING [NY Times, 13 June 05]
ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands, June 12 – Antonio Vivaldi returned to his hometown, Venice, early in 1733, eager to reclaim his place as the Venetian republic’s most popular composer. During his five-year absence, younger Naples-trained musicians had come to the fore with their own “dramas with music,” but now, at 55, Vivaldi was ready to take them on with a daringly modern opera inspired by Hernán Cortés’s conquest of the Aztecs.
How the work, “Motezuma,” was received at its premiere at the Teatro di Sant’Angelo in Venice in the fall of 1733 is not known. But it can be assumed that it did not revive Vivaldi’s fortunes. He wrote at least two more operas in Venice before moving to Vienna in March 1740 to seek the patronage of the Hapsburg Empire. And it was there, reportedly in a state of penury, that he died on July 28, 1741.
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