Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Mitridate, Re di Ponto

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Opera seria in three acts to a libretto by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, first performed on 26 December 1770 at the Teatro Regio Ducale in Milan. Libretto based on Giuseppe Parini’s Italian translation of Jean Racine’s Mithridate.


Sergey Romanovsky : Mitridate
Jessica Pratt : Aspasia
Olga Bezsmertna : Sifare
Rose Naggar-Tremblay : Farnace
Maria Kokareva : Ismene
Alasdair Kent : Marzio
Nina Van Essen : Arbate

Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset, Direction musicale

“Mitridate is an emblematic title for Les Talens Lyriques. We did a major production of it at the Opéra de Lyon, before recording it for Decca in 1998, with a stratospheric cast (Natalie Dessay, Cecilia Bartoli, Sandrine Piau, Giuseppe Sabbatini and even a young Juan Diego Florez). It was a seminal recording, and remains a standard-setter to this day.
It was Dominique Meyer’s idea to offer us Mitridate, the first instalment of the three-part cycle of Mozart operas created in Milan : Mitridate, Lucio Silla and Ascanio in Alba.
Mozart was 15 when he composed Mitridate. He was not yet the man who would revolutionise the form of the opera genre. Nonetheless, we can see the emergence of his genius: the cavatine du poison in Act 3, sung by Aspasie, is overwhelmingly beautiful. The intensity is reminiscent of “Ach ich fühl’s” from his last opera The Magic Flute.
Of the three Milanese operas, Mitridate was certainly the most successful, with roles that were incredibly ornate and demanding to sing. Casting this opera was as pleasing as it was difficult. Sergey Romanovksy is a Russian tenor who I spotted when he was very young, who I particularly like and gave the role of Ferrando in Così fan tutte when we premiered it in Dijon over 10 years ago. He is a soloist who trusts me and knows what I expect of him. Jessica Pratt is an American who shines in Italian bel canto and who has made most of her career in Italy, which says a lot because Italian audiences are particularly demanding.”

– Christophe Rousset