The operas of the “Red Priest” (which number close to 50) were practically unknown until the last quarter of the 20th century. Since the start of the millennium, however, people can’t seem to get enough, as more and more recordings and productions are made of his operas. This premiere is a curiosity for two reasons: first, this is the piece’s Hungarian premiere, and second, because this is the first occasion a Vivaldi opera will be appearing on the Budapest Opera playbill.
Farnace was one of its composer’s favourite operas. The plot revolves around the King of Pontus, recently defeated by the Romans, whose mother-in-law despises him and conspires against him. Intrigue, politics, a death sentence, love, manipulation, and hatred abound as the characters find themselves in the most extreme of situations and traverse an enormously wide range of emotions.