Classical Opera continue their complete Mozart opera recording series with the one-act dramatic serenade Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126. Composed in 1771 as a celebratory homage to Prince Archbishop Sigismund Schrattenbach of Salzburg, the Archbishop died before the piece could be performed. In the spring of 1772 Mozart amended the work so that it could be used in honour of Schrattenbach’s successor, Hieronymus Colloredo – the only necessary change was to alter the name of the dedicatee in the final recitative.
The story of Scipio’s Dream takes place in c.148 BC, while the celebrated Roman general is a guest in the palace of his ally Massinissa, King of Numidia (in modern day Tunisia). As Scipio falls into a deep sleep, he dreams that the allegorical figures of Fortuna (Fortune) and Costanza (Constancy) appear to him in Elysium and demand that he should choose one of them to follow for the rest of his days.
Established in 1997, Classical Opera is one of the leading exponents of the music of Mozart and his contemporaries. Under the direction of founder and conductor Ian Page, and with our own highly acclaimed period-instrument orchestra, we regularly present benchmark performances of operas and orchestral works in some of London’s most prestigious venues and, increasingly, abroad. We attract extensive critical and public acclaim for the high quality of our performances on CD and in the concert hall, for our intelligent and imaginative programming, and for our ability to discover and nurture world-class young singers. Earlier this year we announced the launch of The Mozartists, through which we will broaden our exploration of the orchestral and non-operatic vocal works of Mozart and his contemporaries.
In 2012 we embarked on an unprecedented recording cycle of the complete Mozart operas (20 releases in total, released at the rate of one a year), and in 2015 we launched our ground-breaking MOZART 250, described by The Observer as “among the most audacious classical music scheduling ever”. MOZART 250 sets out to explore the music that was being written by Mozart and his contemporaries exactly 250 years previously, following the trajectory of his life, works and influences in chronological sequence. Spanning 27 years, from the 250th anniversary of his childhood visit to London to the 250th anniversary of his death, we aim to re-tread the steps of musical history, examining, contextualising and celebrating the life of arguably the greatest composer ever to have lived.