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Published February 23, 2016

DESCRIBED as “a brand new opera of love, loss and hope”, Musica Viva’s season opener Voyage to the Moon puts a contemporary slant on the long tradition of Baroque “pastiche” works.

“Pasticcio” operas usually featured a star vocalist of the day and drew on several works by different composers stitched together by recitatives, those sung plot links which were still common in Mozart’s day.

This co-production with Victorian Opera is built around the “moon episode” from Ludovico Ariosto’s 16th century poem Orlando furiosa about a soldier in Charlemagne’s army who falls in love with a pagan princess, who is in turn in love with someone else.

This situation drives Orlando to murderous insanity until he gets some anger management from the magician Zoroaster which involves a side trip to the Moon.

Several 18th century composers had a crack at the story, including Handel and Vivaldi, and their music features prominently in Voyage, alongside Gluck and Telemann and some lesser known composers from the era.

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