Buxton Opera Festival 2023: Il Re Pastore by Mozart

Il Re PastoreIl Re Pastore
Il Re Pastore
Il Re Pastore is a gentle series of arias which Mozart wrote in his youth. There is little action in what would originally have been a concert piece rather than an opera as we now know it.

This production in made fresh and visually interesting by the projection of English rural scenes at the back of the stage which fit with the sentiments expressed in the music though clearly of a different time and place. The period costumes add further visual interest.

There are five soloists: two pairs of lovers temporarily thwarted by dynastic plans of Alexander the Great who seeks to be a wise as well as a conquering hero and allows love to prevail in the end. All the singers perform really well. Katie Coventry is outstanding as Aminta the shepherd hero who becomes king. The two female characters, ably sung by Ellie Neate and Olivia Carrell, change the mind of Alexander by showing their love for their partners who have to obey the great conqueror.

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The Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Kelly, really did justice to the lovely music. The beautiful interweaving of individual voices and instruments herald the more complex music later in Mozart’s career.

An evening of lovely music and pleasant rural scenes.