J.C. Bach: Adriano in Siria

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The premiére of Johann Christian Bach's Adriano in Siria took place at the King's Theatre, Haymarket on 26 January 1765, the eve of Mozart's ninth birthday, and attracted such a large audience that scarcely a third of those assembled were able to get seats. The young Mozart would have heard at least one performance of the work during his childhood stay in London, and subsequently wrote of Bach: "I love him with all my heart, and have the highest regard for him."

Classical Opera's new production will be the first staging of the opera in modern times, and will mirror the music's classical elegance, rarefied simplicity and lyrical beauty. The plot describes Osroa's attempt to assassinate the Emperor Hadrian, and Hadrian's subsequent magnanimity and forgiveness, and the score ranges from the fiery excitement and virtuosity of Farnaspe's "Disperato in mar turbato" to the serene beauty and nobility of Emirena's "Deh lascia, o ciel pietoso" and Farnaspe's exquisite "Cara la dolce fiamma".