Early music in focus
Musica Florea and Zelenka's baroque opera
'Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis'
by TESS CREBBIN and SISSY VON KOTZEBUE
As the final highlight of the 2004 European Music Festival Europamusicale, several world-class early music performers came to Munich, for the German première of the baroque opera Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis by Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745). Canadian star soprano Nancy Argenta, award-winning Swedish-born recording artist Susanne Ryden, and the amazing male soprano Flavio Oliver all made their way to the Bavarian capital for this work, with the alternate title Melodrama de Sancto Wenceslao (ZWV 175), written for the 1723 coronation of Charles VI.
Musica Florea. Photo © Europamusicale
The 28 May 2004 performance marked a significant event for early music because the billed ensemble, Musica Florea, had made the world première recording of this same work, using other soloists, and the CD won the 2002 MIDEM Cannes Classical Award. The German première now provides a new perspective, showing what difference, if any, the addition of world-class soloists makes to the enjoyment of Zelenka's opera.
The programme was as follows:
Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745)
Concert performance of the baroque opera Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis (German première)
Actus II (conclusion)
Boni Pueri Boys Choir
Nancy Argenta, soprano
Susanne Ryden, soprano
Flavio Oliver, countertenor
Francois Bazola, bass
Jaroslav Brezina, tenor
Marek Stryncl, conductor
Copyright © 9 June 2004
Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue, Germany