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Tuesday
Feb062018

the music makers

The composer Johann Adolf Hasse wrote Piramo e Tisbe late in his career. In his letters, he refers to it as "amongst the best works I have written."

Recently, there has been renewed interest in Hasse's work, with a handful of new performances in Europe, most often in concert version. In the US, there was a production at the Bloomington Early Music Festival in 2003.

The original manuscript of Piramo e Tisble is housed in two libraries in Europe. As LOTNY and New Vintage Baroque searched for a Baroque work to present this season, we discovered an electronic copy of the original manuscript online. Emails were sent to the Hasse Society in Hamburg and the chief publisher of his work in contemporary times, Carus Verlag. Through the society, we discovered that a Hasse scholar, Dr. Zenon Mojzysz, was working on a new critical edition. Dr. Mojsysz has been kind enough to share his research and drafts for the new critical edition with this production.

Comparing the two original manuscripts, the later version added ballets in the middle and at the end of the opera. For this production, we have chosen to perform without the ballets as we feel it is more in the spirit of the progressive opera that Hasse and Coltellini were writing in 1768. Operatic style was progressing past the formula of opera seria into a new modern era. Piramo e Tisbe is an mini exemplar of the new style.