La Cetra Barockorchester & Vokalensemble — Arsilda, Queen of Cilicia

Wednesday, 12 June

After La Cetra's tremendous success in Basel and Amsterdam with Vivaldi's "Giustino," they cannot resist presenting you with another opera and Swiss premiere by this composer, “Arsilda, Regina di Ponto.” This time, the title heroine is a woman, Arsilda, Queen of Cilicia—a region in Asia Minor. This opera was written in Venice in 1716, eight years before “Giustino,” and since women and men were allowed to appear on stage in the lagoon city, “Arsilda” contained roles for sopranos and altos as well as for a tenor, a bass, and a soprano castrato. Nevertheless, a staged performance of "Arsilda" in particular is likely to confuse the audience, because at the center is a pair of twins, brother and sister, who look so similar to each other that the girl Lisea pretends to be the boy Tasede for half the opera, without being recognized and almost gets married to the unsuspecting Arsilda...
This probably brings to mind the trials and tribulations of Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night or What You Will.” And nowhere can the famous sentence from Shakespear’s comedy seem more appropriate than in this enchanting opera by Vivaldi, according to which one should soothe the pain of love with an abundance of moving music.
After “Orlando furioso,” “Catone in Utica,” “La Fida ninfa,” “L'Olimpiade,” “Il Giustino,” and “Juditha triumphans,” La Cetra's decades-long effort to preserve Vivaldi's legacy is now also making a lasting mark internationally—with the invitation to record “Arsilda” for the seminal Vivaldi edition of the “Naïve” label.
Tickets are CHF 25-85, half-price for students, and CHF 5 for kids.


Martinskirchplatz 4
4051 Basel

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