With its newly discovered score, Vivaldi’s ‘Motezuma’ coming to LB Opera


On March 28 and April 5, for two performances only, Long Beach Opera will bring to American shores the U.S. premiere of the first full opera written about the Americas– Antonio Vivaldi’s Motezuma (formerly spelled “Montezuma”), dramatizing the conflict between the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez and the Aztec ruler Montezuma in Los Angeles, a city originally settled by Indians and later conquered by Spain.
In presenting the American premier of Vivaldi’s Motezuma, a score which had been lost for 269 years until it was rediscovered in 2002, Long Beach Opera will collaborate with Musica Angelica, Southern California’s premier Baroque ensemble.
The existence of Motezuma has long been known because its libretto survived. A German musicologist, Steffen Voss, came across its score while looking for lost Handel cantatas in the newly discovered archives of the Berlin Singakademie.
Vivaldi’s Motezuma dramatizes the conflict between the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez and the Aztec ruler Montezuma in 16th century Mexico. This exotic opera with its colorful score and dramatic effects is regarded as one of the high points among Vivaldi’s late compositions.
“We are honored to host Long Beach Opera’s U.S. premier of this remarkable opera,” said Dan Spellens, director of Theaters and Entertainment for the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. “This presentation has already received an overwhelming response, and we expect it to be a sold-out hit,” he concluded.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.longbeachopera.org or by calling the Long Beach Opera Box Office at (562) 432-5934. Tickets range in price from $45 to $95. Performances are: Saturday, March 28 at 8pm at Center Theater, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach; and Sunday, April 5 at 4pm at Barnum Hall, 600 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica.

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