D‹sseldorf Court Reasserts Festival's Right to Perform Long-Lost Vivaldi Opera

Classic Arts News   D‹sseldorf Court Reasserts Festival's Right to Perform Long-Lost Vivaldi Opera
A court in D‹sseldorf has overturned an earlier ruling that would have prevented the Alstadtherbst Kulturfestival from mounting Vivaldi's long-lost opera Motezuma, the festival announced.

Yesterday's decision by a higher D‹sseldorf court ruled that the opera's manuscript, by virtue of having been copied and distributed, can be said to have been published. The Berlin Sing-Akademie, which brought the original suit, had claimed ownership of the work based on its unpublished state, and the fact that it was found within the institution's archives.

German musicologist Steffen Voss discovered the work, and prepared the performing edition with musicologist and conductor Federico Maria Sardelli. Sardelli's Baroque ensemble Modo Antiquo had already given a concert performance of the opera in Rotterdam when the Sing-Akademie filed a lawsuit to prevent Italy's Opera Barga and the D‹sseldorf festival from putting on staged versions of the work.

The original court ruling upheld the Sing-Akademie's right as the finder of the work and granted the injunction. As a result, Opera Barga presented the opera in pastiche form, with excerpts from other Vivaldi operas (and, in addition, restored the "n" to the title of the work; Motezuma is a variation of "Montezuma").

The premiere of Motezuma, featuring Tobias Scharfenberger as Motezuma, Joerg Waschinski as Cortez, and Elizabeth Scholl as Asprano, will take place as scheduled at the D‹sseldorf festival on September 21, with additional performances on September 23, 24, and 25.

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