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Idomeneo, King of Crete


29 Sept – 01 Oct 2023

Mozart composed Idomeneo, re di Creta haunted by the lyrical tragedy created by André Campra in Paris some seventy years earlier. The legend of Idomeneo is set in the ruins of the Trojan War: the King of Crete is on the winning side but is pursued by the wrath of Neptune. To save his fleet, he makes a pact with the sea god: he will sacrifice to him the first soul he meets after setting foot on land. Unfortunately, it is his son Idamante who comes to meet him: Idomeneo will have to make a choice between his son and his kingdom.

I will see the grieving ghost
wandering around me,
Proclaiming night and day:
I am innocent!

In contrast to his illustrious French model, in which Idomeneo was driven mad and ended up murdering his son, Mozart offered the Munich audience a happy ending in 1781: by a strange deus ex machina, Idomeneo abdicates, leaving the throne to his son and thus appeasing the divine anger. Mozart brilliantly allows the future to thwart fate and break the cycle of past violence! But not everything is black and white: the infuriated Electra - a spurned lover - takes her vengeance to the grave and, in arias of extraordinary virtuosity, transforms evil into an obscure object of desire.

Carried away by the passion of his twenty-five years of age, Mozart put a great deal into this Idomeneo: he gave it some of his most beautiful arias, accompanied recitatives and danced divertissements that coalesce into a continuous and organic form. He provided a wealth of material that could sustain several operas. The work impresses even the most seasoned conductors and directors. We are presenting the work in a semi-staged version by Lorenzo Ponte, winner of the 2021 European Opera Director's Award. Under the baton of Jakob Lehmann, he will be able to count on the energy and youthfulness of a cast featuring Toby Spence, Héloïse Mas, Siobhan Stagg and Amanda Woodbury.


  • Fri. 29 September 2023
    Opéra national de Lorraine
  • Sun. 01 October 2023
    Opéra national de Lorraine


2 h 45 with interval

5 — 43 €

Opera in semi-scenic concert version,
in Italian, surtitles

All audiences from 11 years

Introduction to the performance
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free of charge, upon presentation of ticket). 


Idomeneo, re di Creta, opera seria in three acts

First performed at Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, 29 January 1781


Father Giambattista Varesco after the play by Danchet


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

New production

Opéra national de Lorraine

Opéra national de Lorraine Orchestra and Chorus

Jakob Lehmann

Chorus master

Guillaume Fauchère

Assistant conductor

William Le Sage

Stage director

Lorenzo Ponte

Set design

Alice Benazzi


Giulia Rossena


Emanuele Agliati

Lighting assistant

Alessandro Manni


Toby Spence


Héloïse Mas


Siobhan Stagg


Amanda Woodbury


Léo Vermot-Desroches

The High Priest*

Wook Kang

The Voice of Neptune

Louis Morvan

Cretan women*

Inna Jeskova and Séverine Maquaire


Yongwoo Jung and Jinhyuck Kim

Distant chorus*

Yongwoo Jung, Ill Ju Lee, Jinhyuck Kim and Christophe Sagnier


Rosabel Huguet

*Opera Chorus soloists

See also