Idomeneo

Opera

Writers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Giambattista Varesco

Overview

Show Information

Category
Opera
Number of Acts
3
First Produced
1781
Genres
Drama, Fairy Tale/Fantasy, Historical/Biographical
Settings
Period, Fantasy/Imaginary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Trojan Wars, Sidon, Crete
Cast Size
medium
Orchestra Size
Medium
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Opera
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, young adult, elderly characters

Synopsis

King Idomeneo is returning from his victory in the Trojan war when a great storm destroys his ship. Desperate to save his own life, he begs the god Neptune to spare him, and Neptune asks him for a sacrifice in return: the first living person that Idomeneo sees when he reaches the shore.

Back in Crete, reports of the wreckage of his father’s ship have brought Idamante to the sea’s edge to see if his father is alive. A fatal reunion on the shore seals Idamante’s fate. His own father must sacrifice him to appease the god of the sea.

Nothing can prevent this destiny. Sending Idamante away will not work, as he would have to travel by sea. Impatient for his sacrifice, Neptune sends a great monster to attack the people of Crete and force Idomeneo to fulfil his oath. Only the pure heart of Princess Ilia can prevent the fatal blow from striking Idamante, as love and innocent triumph over all.

Mozart’s operatic retelling of this ancient story is full of powerful emotions, as people struggle to do what they are bound to by duty over what their own hearts desire.

Lead Characters