Festivals of Baroque Arts starts in Český Krumlov on 17 September
The weekend of 17 - 19 September will resound Český Krumlov's authentic historical premises with the tones of period music of the 17th and 18th centuries. The unique Baroque Castle Theatre becomes a stage for the opera Gli Oblighi dell´Universo by Antonia Draghi.
17 - 19 September 2021 Antonio Draghi: Gli Oblighi dell´Universo (The Obligations of the Universe)
Modern premiere of Baroque Opera in Baroque Castle Theater
Libretto: Nicolò Minato
Hof-Musici soloists and Baroque orchestra, stage director Zuzana Vrbová, conducted from the harpsichord by Ondřej Macek
Premiere: Castle in Pardubice, 9 June 1680.
A celebratory serenata (servizio di camera) performed on the occasion of the birthday of Holy Roman Emperor and Bohemian King Leopold I during his stay in Pardubice while fleeing from Prague during the plague.
Antonio Draghi (1634–1700), a native of Rimini, was one of the most famous and influential Italian composers of his time. With more than 150 stage works, he is considered the most prolific composer in the history of opera. His style is based on Venetian opera of the second third of the 17th century. In 1658, he was called to the imperial court in Vienna, where he remained until the end of his life. In Vienna he first worked as a bassist in the ensemble of the Empress Dowager Eleonora, became first vice-kapellmeister in 1668, and the kapellmeister following year. He held this important position until the end of 1681. Alongside his work in the ensemble of the Empress Dowager, he also worked for the ensemble of the reigning Emperor Leopold I (1640–1705, ruled from 1657) – first as a librettist, later also as composer. After 1669, when Nicolò Minato (ca. 1627–1698) was employed at court as court poet, Draghi devoted himself solely to musical composition, gradually becoming the most prominent author of operas and oratorios of the entire Leopold era. In 1674, the music-loving Emperor created the position of intendant of the court theater (intendente delle musiche teatrali) for him; in 1682 he finally became the chief court kapellmeister and held this prestigious position until his death in 1700.
With the performance of the serenade Gli Oblighi dell’Universo, the Hof-Musici ensemble intends to revive the work of another important, yet unjustly neglected composer, and also to contribute to the knowledge of musical and theatrical life in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the High Baroque. This Draghi serenata is most likely the first opera performed in the Bohemian lands outside Prague. Last but not least, we also wish to recall the Eggenberg era of the Český Krumlov castle theater, founded in 1680–1682.
About Festival of Baroque Arts
Baroque Arts Festival Český Krumlov was launched in 2008 in Český Krumlov. The principal impulse was based on the 12-year long efforts of the Festival dramaturgist, Mr. Ondřej Macek, to explore the original Baroque operas staged in the Czech lands in the firs half of the 18th century.
This expert research was crowned in 2007 by the discovery of a lost Vivaldi opera named "Agrippo" which was later festively staged in semi-scenic setting on 3 May 2008 on the Prague Castle (Spanish Hall) under the auspices of Mrs. Livie Klausová.
There is no other theatre building better prepared and placed for an original adaptation of a Baroque opera than the Castle Baroque theatre in Český Krumlov. In order to make the festive premiere of "Agrippo" in Český Krumlov more attractive to the media, to the sponsors and especially to visitors, the premiere programme was enlarged to include additional concerts and the entire project was named Baroque Arts Festival Český Krumlov.