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Juditha triumphans



Juditha triumphans

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16 April 2021
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4 December 2021

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"Antonio Vivaldi’s baroque music masterpiece “Juditha triumphans” is presented by the Greek National Opera for the first time, as part of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution. The work is about the victory of the Venetians at the Sof Corfu, which acted as a catalyst in stopping the Ottoman advance into the Christian West. “Juditha triumphans” is the only extant oratorio of the four Vivaldi is known to have composed. The intense war atmosphere is portrayed through the dynamic choral parts, while Juditha’s faith and honesty through the lyric and tender writing. Remarkable is the use of many different and relatively rare instruments, such as the viola d’amore, the chalumeaux (early clarinets) and theorboes, with which Vivaldi brings out the work’s highlights. Director Thanos Papakonstantinou notes: “In the performance, we become witnesses of a coming-of-age ceremony within a female community. A man is captured and becomes the sacrificial animal. The girl in the process of initiation will perform Judith in the story with Holofernes, and after joining the ‘sacrificial’ lamb in a symbolic marriage, she will kill him, just like the Biblical heroine, and this is how she will become a complete member of the community. Her bloodied hands at the end of the crossing, also mark her ‘entrance’ into the world of adulthood, the final and irrevocable fall from the grace of innocence.” “Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie” (Judith Triumphant over the Barbarians of Holofernes) is described as a “sacred military oratorio”. It was written with the goal of enhancing the Republic of Venice’s prestige. The inspiration for Giacomo (Iacopo) Cassetti’s allegorical Latin libretto came from the defence of Corfu against the Ottomans in August 1716 and, in particular, the victory by the Christian forces of the Republic of Venice, the pope, and the Holy Roman Empire headed by the Saxon general Schulenburg. Cassetti used the confrontation between the Jews and the Assyrians as an allegory for the conflict between the Venetians and the Ottomans. "
(Edited description from Greek National Opera website:

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