The fourth edition of the styriarte's Fux Opera Festival, which has been held annually since 2018, brought a rarity of Viennese baroque opera to the stage in the form of the Serenata Psiche. In a fabulously beautiful but also witty and ironic production (Adrián Schvarzstein) in the arcade courtyard of Eggenberg Castle in Graz, the five vocal soloists (leading roles: Carlotta Colombo, Monica Piccinini, Raffaele Pe) offered music theatre of the highest order. The Arnold Schoenberg Choir (rehearsal: Erwin Ortner) set special sonic highlights this year, while the Ensemble Zefiro under the sovereign direction of Alfredo Bernardini has already become a constant at Fux operas in Graz. A sample can be seen at https://styriarte.com/mediathek/amor-und-psyche
The collaboration with the Styrian Music Festival and Alfredo Bernardini, which has been in place since 2018, proved particularly exciting for this year's production. As part of the ÖAW's long-term project "Johann Joseph Fux - Werke" (Johann Joseph Fux - Works), a mixed version was created that added two arias with recitatives and two choruses to the parts composed by Fux in 1720/22, which had been supplemented by Antonio Caldara for the first performance in 1720 (due to Fux being unable to perform due to illness).
The relatively complex source situation thus became the occasion for a delightful dialogue between two quite different musical styles. The Covid situation meant that both the score and the orchestral parts still had to be adapted during rehearsals due to necessary cuts and strokes. Fortunately, the conception of the Fux edition is flexible enough - in addition to the print edition for scholars, open access material for practitioners is also offered - to overcome such challenges.
A video recording of the Graz performance of Fux's Psiche will be available on the styriarte homepage from 4.7.2021.