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Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Idomeneo. It was last on stage 3–24 November 2014 as part of the Autumn 2014/15 season.

The Story

War hero Idomeneo promises the gods he will sacrifice the first person he sees in return for a safe journey home. That person is his son Idamante.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


The premiere of Idomeneo on 29 January 1781 came just two days after Mozart's 25th birthday. It was his 13th work for the stage and marks his full maturity as a dramatic composer. The plot moves with breathless immediacy, plunging the characters into extreme emotional states, taking the audience with them. Idomeneo also features some of Mozart's most varied and inventive music, including the heroic regality of Idomeneo's 'Fuor del mar', the tenderness of Ilia and Idamante’s duet ‘S’io non moro a questi accenti’ and the furious vocal acrobatics of Elettra's 'D'Oreste, d'Ajace'.

Austrian Martin Kušej is considered one of the most important directors working today, acclaimed for his dark and incisive productions such as Der fliegende Holländer for Netherlands Opera and La forza del destino for Bavarian State Opera. His creative team includes frequent collaborators set designer Annette Murschetz, costume designer Heide Kastler and lighting designer Reinhard Traub.

News and features

  1. Your reaction: Idomeneo

    4 November 2014

    What did you think of Martin Kušej's production of Mozart's early masterpiece?

On Wikipedia

Front page of the 1781 playbill

Idomeneo, re di Creta ossia Ilia e Idamante (Italian for Idomeneus, King of Crete, or, Ilia and Idamante; usually referred to simply as Idomeneo, K. 366) is an Italian language opera seria by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The libretto was adapted by Giambattista Varesco from a French text by Antoine Danchet, which had been set to music by André Campra as Idoménée in 1712. Mozart and Varesco were commissioned in 1780 by Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria for a court carnival. He probably chose the subject, though it might have been Mozart. The work premiered on 29 January 1781 at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, Germany.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article Idomeneo, available under a Creative Commons license.