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Love and sacrifice vie in Mozart's sublime early masterpiece, directed by Martin Kušej in his UK debut.

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.

Anguished, Idomeneo prevaricates. The gods send a sea monster that devours thousands. Forced to select a sacrificial victim, Idomeneo is forced to admit the truth and Idamante bravely accepts his fate. At the last moment the oracle commands that Idomeneo abdicate and Idamante be crowned king in his place.


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.

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On Wikipedia


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.

Read the complete Idomeneo article on Wikipedia, available under a Creative Commons license.