GASPARE SPONTINI'S

LA VESTALE
(The Vestal Virgin)

Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Thessaloniki, Greece
08 - 10 December 2023

Organizer: THESSALONIKI CONCERT HALL IN COLLABORATION WITH THE TEATRO GRATTACIELO NEW YORK & DIRECTORATE OF CULTURE & TOURISM OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF THESSALONIKI

Opera in three acts

Libretto by √Čtienne de Jouy
Conductor Philippe Forget
Director Stefanos Koroneos
Costume & Video Art Designer Lydia Venieri

If there is one melodramatic work that constitutes the link between the grand opera of the 19th century and the lyrical tragedy that was bequeathed to us by C. W. Gluck, that is none other than the three-act opera La Vestale (The Vestal Virgin), composed by the Italian composer Gaspare Spontini, who lived during the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century. It is the greatest and most popular work by the composer. Ever since its first performance in the Paris Opera in 1807, it has met with resounding success, having been performed for over 200 times until 1830. The brilliant orchestration and the lyric vocal style of the opera, which is a predecessor of bel canto, captivate the audience. The libretto by √Čtienne de Jouy (Victor-Joseph √Čtienne) masterfully highlights the characters through a simple plot that revolves around the survival of love amidst religious sentiment and militaristic zeal. Having influenced composers like H. Berlioz and R. Wagner, La Vestale is a work of pivotal importance for the development of the 19th century melodrama and it moves audiences through the power of music, the intense symbolism and the depth of the characters.