There is much that is fascinating in this film of Mozart’s Mitridate Re di Ponto conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.
There is the inescapable feeling that Mozart at 14 is already fully himself. We don’t particularly treasure this work because of what came later, because the genre of opera seria has been so long out of favor, but it is a perfect example of a rococo opera seria, composed for Milan, then as now a center of the opera world.
With each experience of his work I become more and more a fan of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Every note lives. Ann Murray, Yvonne Kenny and all the others perform their roles fabulously.
And as if that were not enough, it is filmed in Palladio’s Teatro Olympico in Vicenza. The Baroque stage set shown in the film is actually part of the building itself. It works beautifully well, the most authentic period set I’ve seen.
I bought this because Sarah said it was perfect. I agree.