This year, the renowned music festival styriarte (Graz) starts a multi-year cycle with operas by Styrian-born Johann Joseph Fux under the title “Fux.Opernfest”. Fux’s oldest surviving opera, the “Poemetto drammatico” Julo Ascanio, Re d’Alba, was first performed at the name-day of Emperor Joseph I on March 19, 1708. Performances in Graz on June 22, 23 and 25, 2018 were enthusiastically received by the public and critics alike and were accompanied with great media approval (see the Facebook page of styriarte and the reviews collected on the styriarte website for an overview).
Especially for the Fux Opera Festival, the team of the Fux edition prepared performance materials; after the concerts, these will be made available for free download as ‘practice-proven’ parts from the Fux-online’s Fux concertato series.
Fux concertato at the conductor's desk
Fux’s setting includes a broad spectrum of characters, which illuminates the protagonists and their moods in subtle and differentiated ways. By their special timbres, solo instruments such as chalumeaux, harpsichord, trumpet, violas and bassoons intensify strong effects and key scenes. At styriarte, the Zefiro Baroque Orchestra with its conductor Alfredo Bernardini brought the opera and its mythical protagonists back to life. The lighting direction of OchoReSotto and the costumes of Lilli Hartmann immersed the audience in a visually dazzling past between antiquity and baroque. The top-class musical spectacle was also embedded in a festive and humorous setting, taking place in a fanciful garden of happiness.
J. J. Fux and Fräulein Austria with the Fidele Hirtenfelder
The Viennese Fux team with Fux and Fox
(all photos: © Ramona Hocker, Alexander Rausch)
Additionally, a little symposium with statements on the production, scientific contributions and a panel discussion took place on June 23, 2018 (Fux.GESPRÄCHE), and on June 24, 2018 a recording of the premiere was broadcasted by Radio Styria at 9:03 p.m. The broadcast was repeated on August 1, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. in Ö1 Festspielsender.
A pdf of the programme with further information is available on the styriarte homepage.