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January 1970

Dramma per musica in three acts (1732)

Music by Riccardo Broschi
Libretto by Apostolo Zeno
Concert performance in Italian language


Foiled forced marriage: In order to get to the kingdom of his brother Cresfonte, Polifonte has the plan to have him and his descendants murdered by Anassandro. Before he changed sides, Anassandro was the confidant of Cresfonte's wife, Queen Merope, and the guardian of her sons. The murder succeeds, Merope is spared, but must renounce the empire. Her son Epitide also escaped the catastrophe as he was at the court of the King of Aetolia at the time. The tyrannical Polifonte falls in love with Merope and tries to persuade her to marry him. She asks for a period of ten years and secretly hopes that either the traitor will be found or her grown son will return home. Epitide manages to get through to his mother undetected, on the very day that the deadline ends, to disempower Polifonte and win back his kingdom and prevent his mother's forced marriage. The composer Riccardo Broschi wrote many of his opera parts for the famous castrato Farinelli. No wonder, because Farinelli, whose real name was Carlo Broschi, was his brother. Riccardo Broschi, trained at the Conservatorio Santa Maria di Loreto, was first mentioned by name in 1725 as a composer of church music. He was probably 27 years old at the time, as a document in which Broschi testifies to the marriage of his sister Dorotea suggests. In the same year he performed his first and only comic opera at the Teatro dei Fiorentini, then the oldest theatre in Naples. Three years later L'isola d'Alcina, his first opera seria, followed in Rome. This production was followed by a successful creative period in northern Italy, during which he published his Alcina arranged in Parma and wrote operas for the carnival season in Venice and Turin. His most famous opera during his lifetime, Merope, premiered in Turin in 1732 with his brother Farinelli in one of the leading roles. The artistic director of the Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik, Alessandro De Marchi, will bring this brilliant baroque opera, which is in no way inferior to other operas from the period, back on stage in 2019. 

Program and cast


Alessandro De Marchi
Anna Bonitatibus
David Hansen
Jeffrey Francis.
Arianna Vendittelli
Vivica Exactx
Filippo Mineccia
Hagen Matzeit
Innsbruck Festival Orchestra

Theater an der Wien

About the Theater an der Wien

The New Opera House is not just any theatre, but the one that Emanuel Schikaneder, the all-round genius, actor, impresario with a flair for organization but above all librettist of The Magic Flute, had built in 1801 in Vienna in keeping with the spirit of Mozart.

To coincide with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth the Theater an der Wien presents itself as a new opera house from January 2006. As a “season” opera house with productions all the year round the Theater an der Wien carves a new and independent niche in the realm of high-quality culture in Vienna. For twelve months of the year, with one premiere every month, opera will be performed under the “stagione”, or season, system: that means the cast remains unchanged from the first performance to the last one, which guarantees that the very highest international standards are maintained.

The theatre’s modern, accessible approach to music theatre as demonstrated by the works performed, the overall artistic concept Bespielung and the artistes is further underlined by the building itself, its architecture and the vibrancy of its location. The surroundings and materials, the intimate atmosphere and perfect acoustics in the historical theatre prepare the senses to experience beauty. The Theater an der Wien deliberately enters into a symbiotic relationship with its lively surroundings on the Naschmarkt street market and the young cultural scene centred in the Schleifmühl quarter.

How to get there

With public transport:

We can be reached by public transport: 

U1, U2 und U4 Station Karlsplatz, Exit Secession
Bus 59A Station Bärenmühldurchgang
Bus 57A Station Laimgrubengasse, pedestrians via Laimgrubengasse to Linke Wienzeile

Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien

We can be reached by public transport:
U1, U4: Station Schwedenplatz
Tram Linie D (bei Ablenukung über Kai), 1, 2: Station Schwedenplatz
Bus 3A (on workdays)

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