|Johann Simon Mayr|
Jorn Lindemann (Tenor), Capucine Chiaudani (Soprano), Tomasz Zagorski (Tenor), Hyo-Jin Shin (Soprano), Rebecca Nelsen (Soprano), Dae-Bum Lee (Bass)
Braunschweig State Theatre Chorus
Braunschweig State Orchestra
Father of Italian opera It is not without reason that Johann Simon Mayr, the composer born in Bavaria and educated at the Jesuit College in Ingostadt, became known under his Italian name Giovanni Simone Mayr. In 1787 Mayr went to Italy, worked first as a music teacher at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice, was elected Kapellmeister at the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo in 1802, and held the post despite lucrative offers (Napoleon, for example, tried to engage him as opera director in Paris) until his death in 1845
In addition to his employment, Mayr was a prolific composer, especially in the field of opera – he left no less than 60 works for musical theater, becoming a central figure in Italian opera history in the 19th century: Donizetti was his student, and Rossini, Bellini and Verdi revered him as the “father of Italian opera”. Towards the end of his life Mayr turned increasingly to his church work and teaching at the music school he founded in Bergamo, writing almost exclusively sacred works. Fedra is one of his last operas, composed in 1820 and premiered at La Scala in Milan. Fedra also forms the first volume of the new edition of Mayr’s stage works at Ricordi, which was begun in 2008.