Lucio Papirio Dittatore

Tue 9 - Thu 18 July 2019

Antonio Caldara (1671–1736)

Sung in Italian with English side-titles.

A Buxton International Festival production in collaboration with La Serenissima.

The story of family strife in pre-Imperial Rome, this forgotten gem by the Italian composer Antonio Caldara, featuring jubilant choral writing and dazzling virtuoso arias, is a perfect vehicle for the dynamic, Gramophone Award-winning baroque ensemble La Serenissima.

Lucio Papirio Dittatore was composed by Caldara in 1719, by which time he was serving as vice-kapellmeister to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Being composed for the imperial court, there are a number of characteristics rarely found elsewhere in opera seria, such as the use of the aria madrigale, a large amount of ballet music and a significant number of choral movements. This is a work composed on a grand scale, glorifying both the genre of opera seria and the name of the emperor.

The cast includes two ENO Harewood Artists, Eleanor Dennis and Rowan Pierce, as well as Elizabeth Karani, who sang in both Jephtha and Intermezzo in Buxton. Countertenors William Towers and Owen Willetts have both appeared recently at the Festival, and return as father and son Marco and Quinto Fabio. Baritone Gareth Brynmor John is a former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award. Completing a first-class line up, the title role is sung by tenor Robert Murray, who starred in Brescianello’s Tisbe last year.

Supported by

Photography: Genevieve Girling Photography

Creatives and cast

Adrian Chandler
MD violin

Giulia Nuti
MD harpsichord

Mark Burns

Kitty Callister

Zoe Spurr
Lighting Designer


Robert Murray
Lucio Papirio

William Towers
Marco Fabio

Owen Willetts
Quinto Fabio

Rowan Pierce

Elizabeth Karani

Eleanor Dennis

Gareth Brynmor John


Eleri Gwilym
Olivia Carrell
Fiona Finsbury
Georgina Stalbow

Mezzo Soprano
Anna Jeffers
Aurelija Statsiuylyte
Rhiannon Doogan
Naomi Rogers

Gethin Lewis
William Searle
Andrew Masterson
George Curnow

Luke Scott
Edward Robinson
Einar Stefansson
Brian McBride