Apollo and Hyacinth
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
APOLLO AND HYACINTH
Libretto by P. Rufinus Widl
English translation by Gilly French
and Jeremy Gray
Whichford House, 17 June 2008
The Orangery terrace, Westonbirt, 24 and 25 August 2008
Music at Wotton, 4 October 2008
|Oebalus king of Lacedaemonia||Tom Raskin|
|Melia his daughter||Martene Grimson|
|Hyacinth his son||Amanda Pitt|
|Apollo a god||Serena Kay|
|High Priest of Apollo||Edmund Connolly|
Murray Hipkin (June, October)
Christian Curnyn (August)
The Bampton Classical Players, on period instruments
Persephone Gibbs, Camilla Scarlett violin; Alexandria Laurence, Malgosia Ziemkewitz viola; Emily Robinson ‘cello; Kate Aldridge double bass; Hannah Riddell flute; Mark Radcliffe, Joel Raymond oboe; Kate Goldsmith, Alistair Rycroft horn.
Preparations are being undertaken by Hyacinth, son of King Oebalus, for an important sacrifice to the god Apollo. His friend Zephyr, who claims to plan to marry Hyacinth’s sister Melia, is nevertheless insanely jealous of Hyacinth’s obsession with Apollo and makes unwelcome advances to him. King Oebalus and Melia arrive, but a thunderstorm suddenly disrupts the ceremony and is taken as a sign of Apollo’s displeasure. Oebalus blames his children, but Hyacinth suspects Zephyr’s blasphemy. Hyacinth attempts to calm the mood by explaining the capricious but ultimately friendly ways of the gods.
Apollo, who has been banished by his father Jupiter, appears disguised as a shepherd, and asks for protection in Oebalus’ kingdom. He reveals his identity and allows Melia to fall in love with him, but also arouses the jealousy of Zephyr by embracing Hyacinth.
Oebalus announces to Melia’s intense delight that Apollo has requested her hand in marriage. Melia wonders where Apollo is, and is told that he is throwing the discus with Hyacinth. She sings in praise of her own fame and happiness. Zephyr brings the news that Hyacinth has been felled by the discus thrown by Apollo. Incredulous, Melia is ordered by her father to banish Apollo. Zephyr learns for the first time that Melia is now engaged to Apollo and attempts to win her back for himself, proclaiming the many faults of the ‘murderer’. Melia is too distraught to accept him. Apollo encounters Zephyr and angrily has him carried away by the winds. Melia refuses to listen to Apollo’s pleading, taking him to be a double murderer, and banishes him.
Oebalus finds the body of Hyacinth, who with his dying breath reveals that it was Zephyr who killed him, out of revenge for his obsessive friendship with Apollo. Oebalus is distraught. Melia arrives, and she and her father express their horror at their error and their behaviour to Apollo. The god nevertheless returns and, through his love of Hyacinth, transforms him into a flower. Apologies are made, and Apollo and Melia resume their engagement to general rejoicing.
genuine enjoyment and engagement
Opera Today, 29 July 2009
…continuously enjoyable… mainly excellent
The Spectator 29 July 2009
just right… excellent
Opera Now, November/December 2008 Early Music Today, October/November 2008
The Oxford Times, October 2008
first class cast
The Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Echo, August 2008