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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Idomeneo, re di Creta ossia Ilia e Idamante (Italian for Idomeneus, King of Crete, or, Ilia and Idamante; usually referred to simply as Idomeneo, K. 366) is an Italian language opera seria by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

KV 366 - Idomeneo, re di Creta

- Sinfonia (0:00)
- Aria I,1 (Ilia) Padre, germani, addio! (4:29)
- Aria I,2 (Idamante) Non ho colpa, e mi condanni (7:58)
- Coro I,3 (Troiani) Godiam la pace (13:12)
- Aria I,6 (Elettra) Tutte nel cor vi sento (15:17)
- Coro I,7 (Marinari) Pietà Numi, pietà! (18:32)
- Aria I,9 (Idomeneo) Vedrommi intorno (19:53)
- Aria I,10 (Idamante) Il padre adorato (23:57)
- Marcia I,11 (KV 206) (26:42)
- Coro I,11 (Popoli) Nettuno s'onori (30:38)
- Aria II,1 (Arbace) Se il tuo duol se il mio desio (35:49)
- Aria II,2 (Ilia) Se il padre perdei (40:22)
- Aria II,3 (Idomeneo) Fuor del mar ho un mar in seno (46:17)
- Aria II,4 (Elettra) Idol mio, se ritroso (52:26)
- Rec. II,4 (Elettra) Odo da lunge armonioso & Marcia II,4 (KV 362) (57:23)
- Finale II,5 & 6 (Tutti) Placido è il mar (59:16)
- Aria III,1 (Ilia) Zeffiretti lusinghieri (1:11:59)
- Duetto III,2 (Ilia, Idamante) S'io non moro (1:17:25)
- Quartetto III,3 (Idamante, Ilia, Idomeneo, Elettra) Andrò ramingo e solo (1:20:18)
- Aria III,5 (Arbace) Se colà ne' fati è scritto (1:25:08)
- Coro III,6 (Popoli) Oh voto tremendo (1:32:42)
- Marcia III,7 (1:37:24)
- Cavatina III,7 (Idomeneo) Accogli, oh re del mar (1:38:47)
- Coro III,7 (Sacerdoti) Stupenda vittoria (1:42:14)
- Aria III,9 (Idamante) No, la morte io non pavento (1:42:29)
- Arioso III,10 (Voce) Ha vinto Amore (1:47:11)
- Aria III,10 (Elettra) D'Oreste, d'Aiace (1:50:59)
- Aria III,11 (Idomeneo) Torna la pace al core (1:54:09)
- Coro III,11 (Tutti) Scenda Amor, scenda Imeneo (2:01:21)


Ilia, daughter of King Priam of Troy
Idomeneo (Idomeneus), King of Crete
Idamante (Idamantes), son of Idomeneo
Elettra (Electra), Princess of Argos
Arbace (Arbaces), Idomeneo's confidant
High priest of Neptune
The voice of the Oracle of Neptune
Two Cretan women
Two Trojans



The overture, in D major and common time, is in a modified sonata form in which the development is but a very short transition section connecting the exposition with the recapitulation. Other conventional hallmarks of the sonata form are apparent: the exposition modulates from the tonic (D major) to the dominant (A major), while the recapitulation is centred on the tonic. The overture concludes with a coda ending in D major chords. These chords, soft and tentative, turn out not to be a resolution of the overture in the tonic but chords in the dominant of G minor, which is the home key of the scene that immediately follows.



Island of Crete, shortly after the Trojan War. Ilia, daughter of the defeated Trojan King Priam, has been taken to Crete after the war. She loves Prince Idamante, son of Idomeneo, but hesitates to acknowledge her love. Idamante frees the Trojan prisoners in a gesture of good will. He tells Ilia, who is rejecting his love, that it is not his fault that their fathers were enemies. Trojans and Cretans together welcome the return of peace, but Electra, daughter of the Greek King Agamemnon, is jealous of Ilia and does not approve of Idamante's clemency toward the enemy prisoners. Arbace, the king's confidant, brings news that Idomeneo has been lost at sea while returning to Crete from Troy. Electra, fearing that Ilia, a Trojan, will soon become Queen of Crete, feels the furies of the underworld rise up in her heart.


Idomeneo is saved by Neptune (god of the sea) and is washed up on a Cretan beach. There he recalls the vow he made to Neptune: to sacrifice, if he should arrive safely on land, the first living creature he should meet. Idamante approaches him, but because the two have not seen each other for a long time, recognition is difficult. When Idomeneo finally realizes the youth that he must sacrifice for the sake of his vow is his own child, he orders Idamante never to seek him out again. Grief-stricken by his father's rejection, Idamante runs off. Cretan troops disembarking from Idomeneo's ship are met by their wives, and all praise Neptune.


At the king's palace, Idomeneo seeks counsel from Arbace, who says another victim could be sacrificed if Idamante were sent into exile. Idomeneo orders his son to escort Electra to her home, Argos. Idomeneo's kind words to Ilia move her to declare that since she has lost everything, he will be her father and Crete her country. As she leaves, Idomeneo realizes that sending Idamante into exile has cost Ilia her happiness as well as his own. Electra welcomes the idea of going to Argos with Idamante.

At the port of Sidon (a fictional city of Crete), Idomeneo bids his son farewell and urges him to learn the art of ruling while he is away. Before the ship can sail, however, a storm breaks out, and a sea serpent appears. Recognizing it as a messenger from Neptune, the king offers himself as atonement for having violated his vow to the god.


In the royal garden, Ilia asks the breezes to carry her love to Idamante, who appears, explaining that he must go to fight the serpent. When he says he would rather die than suffer the torments of his rejected love, Ilia confesses her love. They are surprised by Electra and Idomeneo. When Idamante asks his father why he sends him away, Idomeneo can only reply that the youth must leave. Ilia asks for consolation from Electra, who is preoccupied with revenge. Arbace comes with news that the people, led by the High Priest of Neptune, are clamoring for Idomeneo. The High Priest tells the king of the destruction caused by Neptune's monster, urging Idomeneo to reveal the name of the person whose sacrifice is demanded by the god. When the king confesses that his own son is the victim, the populace is horrified.


Outside the temple, the king and High Priest join Neptune's priests in prayer that the god may be appeased. Arbace brings news that Idamante has killed the monster. As Idomeneo fears new reprisals from Neptune, Idamante enters in sacrificial robes, saying he understands his father's torment and is ready to die. After an agonizing farewell, Idomeneo is about to sacrifice his son when Ilia intervenes, offering her own life instead. The Voice of Neptune is heard. Idomeneo must yield the throne to Ilia and Idamante. Everyone is relieved except Electra, who longs for her own death. Idomeneo presents Idamante and his bride as the new rulers. The people call upon the god of love and marriage to bless the royal pair and bring peace.

IDOMENEO, re di Creta/King of Crete  STEVE DAVISLIM
IDAMANTE, suo figlio/his son  MONICA BACELLI
ILIA, principessa troiana figlia di Priamo/Trojan princess, daughter of King Priam   CAMILLA TILLING 
ELETTRA, principessa figlia di Agamennone/princess, daughter of Agamennone  EMMA BELL
ARBACE, confidente del re/the King’s confidant  FRANCESCO MELI 
Gran Sacerdote/High Priest of Neptune  ROBIN LEGGATE
Prima cretese/Fist Cretan woman  SILVIA  MAPELLI
Seconda cretese/Second Cretan woman  MARZIA  CASTELLINI
Primo troiano/First Trojan man  MASSIMILIANO  ITALIANI
Secondo troiano/Second Trojan man  GIUSEPPE  CATTANEO
Orcheatra e Coro del/Orchestra and Chorus of  TEATRO ALLA SCALA 
Direttore/Conductor  DANIEL HARDING

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The Iliad relates four days in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy.

The Burning of Troy (1759/62), oil painting by Johann Georg Trautmann

Priam killed by Neoptolemus, detail of an Attic black-figure amphora, ca. 520–510 BC

Orestes, Electra and Hermes at the tomb of Agamemnon, lucanian red-figure pelike, c. 380–370 BC

The so-called Mask of Agamemnon which was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae

In Greek mythology, Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and youngest son of Laomedon. In the Post-Homeric History of the Fall of Troy, he was described as provided with "a handsome face and a pleasant voice", "large and swarthy". According to Jenny March, his original name was Podarkes, before it was changed to Priam on his ascendancy to the Trojan throne.

In Greek mythology, Elektra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra, and thus princess of Argos. She and her brother Orestes plotted revenge against their mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for the murder of their father.


In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope of Mycenae, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra or Laodike (Λαοδίκη), Orestes and Chrysothemis. Legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area. When Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was taken to Troy by Paris, Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan War.

Upon Agamemnon's return from Troy, he was murdered (according to the oldest surviving account, Odyssey 11.409–11) by Aegisthus, the lover of his wife, Clytemnestra. In old versions of the story, the scene of the murder, when it is specified, is usually the house of Aegisthus, who has not taken up residence in Agamemnon's palace, and it involves an ambush and the deaths of Agamemnon's followers as well. In some later versions Clytemnestra herself does the killing, or they act together as accomplices, killing Agamemnon in his own home.


Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld. Salacia was his wife.

Mosaic of Neptune (Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas, Palermo)

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