The Met: Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

The Met broadcasts Mozart’s early masterpiece “Idomeneo” to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater Saturday and Rutland’s Paramount Theatre Sunday. COURTESY METROPOLITAN OPERA

Like many stories from Greek mythology, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” first staged in 1781, explores the motivations and emotions of humans whose fates seem beyond their own control.

“Idomeneo” will be broadcast to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater as part of the MET Live in HD series at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and rebroadcast to Rutland’s Paramount Theatre at 12:55 p.m. Sunday, March 26.

In Middlebury, a free talk about the opera will be given in the studio on the lower level before the broadcast at 12:15 p.m. Saturday (45 minutes before the start time) by Scott Morrison.

The opera is set on the island of Crete in the aftermath of the Trojan War, and tells of the Greek king Idomeneo, allied with Agamemnon, whose son, Idamante, has fallen in love with the captive princess Ilia, daughter of Priam. After a shipwreck, Idomeneo is rescued from drowning by Neptune, god of the sea, who demands that Idomeneo must sacrifice to him the first man he encounters. That man turns out to be Idamante. Idomeneo must then search desperately for a way to save his son from sacrifice, even in the face of violent and dangerous retribution from the gods.

“Here is the Met at its best. … (James) Levine conducts, drawing a refined and affecting performance from the great Met orchestra and chorus and an impressive cast,” reported The New York Times.

Middlebury tickets are $24, $10 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org. Rutland tickets are $23; call 802-775-0903, or go online to www.

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