Clelia, a Roman noblewoman, is taken hostage by Porsenna, King of the Etruscans, as part of a peace treaty with Rome. She escapes, but is returned to her captors. However, her courage remains undimmed.
Christoph Willibald von Gluck’s Il trionfo di Clelia (The Triumph of Clelia) had its premiere in Bologna in 1763. It was an immediate success, thanks to a lively musical style and the production’s extraordinary special effects, which showed off the capacities of the advanced stage machinery at the newly opened Teatro Comunale di Bologna. However, the staging was technically too complex for many other European theatres and Il trionfo di Clelia soon fell out of favour. Nigel Lowery’s new production provides a rare chance to see this operatic gem, with a stellar European cast and the City of London Sinfonia under the baton of Giuseppe Sigismondi de Risio.