Antonio Vivaldi composed Arsilda, Regina di Ponto for the Venetian theater of Sant'Angelo in the fall of 1716. While Vivaldi had, by its debut, been an important member of Venetian musical culture for over a decade as a violinist and composer, he had begun composing only three years earlier. Domenico Lalli, his librettist, who settled in Venice in 1710 after fleeing his native Naples upon being charged with embezzlement, was one of the most important librettists of the first decades of the eighteenth century.
Classical Opera continue their series of Mozart Operas on Signum with Mozarts Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87 (74a). Mozarts first great operatic success premiered at the Teatro Regio Ducale in Milan on 26 Dec 1770, marking the culmination of Mozarts first trip to Italy. The work received an initial twenty-two performance run sure proof of success and news of this astonishing youthful work spread quickly. As well as the complete opera, this 4CD set includes a bonus disc featuring original versions of a number of arias from the opera that Mozart subsequently changed in the final version.
Filmed and directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in the unique interiors of Vicenza's Teatro Olimpico in 1986, this DVD offers an intimate glimpse of Mozart's first major opera, written when the precocious composer was just fourteen. Nikolaus Harnoncourt leads a stellar cast in portraying the inner circle of the Roman Empire's fiercest enemy: Mithridates, king of Pontus.