Il re pastore

Thu 20 July 2023

A Buxton International Festival Production, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra

A Buxton International Festival Production, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

Mozart was just 19 years old when he wrote Il re pastore in 1775 at the command of the Prince of Salzburg for the royal visit of Archduke Maximillian Francis of Austria. This youthful work shines with the richness of its orchestration, its inexhaustible melodic inspiration, and its dazzlingly ingenious score; it wonderfully foreshadows the composer’s future works.

The plot is based on hypothetical moments from the life of Alexander the Great and was deemed suitable entertainment for a royal visit.  Alessandro has recently conquered Sidon and is looking for the rightful heir to the throne.  He believes it is the shepherd Aminta, who is in love with the noble Elisa.  Aminta must decide if royal duty is greater than love.

Vocally, Mozart demands both lightness and agility of his singers, and every one of the arias is an expression of joy and contentment but created with enormous variety.  The opera is a reflection upon the intertwining nature of love, duty and power. At once lively and full of feeling, Mozart’s music and the unusually colourful orchestration of the arias turn this serenata into a feast for the senses.  Composed in six weeks with a libretto by Metastasio, this exquisite bucolic tale brims with energy, spirit, and enthusiasm.

Jack Furness is one of the most exciting young opera directors in Britain. Last summer he garnered a string of five-star reviews. This is his Buxton debut.

Libretto by Metastasio based on the play ‘Aminta’ by Torquato Tasso. Sung in Italian with English side-titles.



Katie Coventry Aminta

Ellie Neate Elisa

Olivia Carrell Tamiri

George Curnow Agenore

Joseph Doody Allesandro



Adrian Kelly Conductor

Jack Furness Director

Hannah Wolfe Set and Costume Designer

Jake Wiltshire Lighting Designer


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