A presentation about and featuring the composer Johann Adolf Hasse and his wife, the famous prima donna Faustina Bordoni. Song, music and theatre give us a taste of this magnificent and contemplative period in which Hasse was an established name and Mozart was young and ambitious.
The performance is entertaining and informative at the same time. The public gets to know Hasse and Faustina in a way that shows their struggle to compete and their concerns regarding their creative careers, as well as their passionate love for each other and their music.
As a result we learn a lot, almost by accident, about the Baroque and the new trends of the early Classical period that were coming into being at the time. In this way, Hasse and Bordoni take us through life at Court and their day-to-day professional life.
The actors slip into the roles of the two main characters, and two trained singers perform the duets and cantatas that are embedded in the story. The music is performed on the mandatory period instruments, along with Baroque gestures and facial expressions.
Johann Adolf Hasse is the undisputed musical idol of his time, a representative of the final magnificence of absolutism shortly before the societal upheaval of the French Revolution.
During his lifetime he was honoured as “Caro sassone” [“Dear Saxon”], and even as the “Padre della musica” [“Father of Music”], and treated almost as a god by his public. The powerful figures in politics at the time - the Elector of Saxony and Frederick the Great, as well as the Empress Maria Theresia - courted him, Joseph Haydn treated him as an exemplar, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even wanted to “become immortal” like him, Jean-Jacques Rousseau praised the orchestra that he led as the best in the whole of Europe, and the English musical novelist Charles Burney considered him as the most significant of all contemporary composers.
After his death, Hasse became largely forgotten, a fact that the cultural philosopher Romain Rolland described in the early 20th century as “one of the great injustices of history”, although unfortunately little has changed since.
A co-production with
Umbach & Consorten