COSTANZA E FORTEZZA CORONATION OPERA / PREMIERE / SVĚTCE RIDING SCHOOL
31 July | Friday 7:00pm – 11:00pm
A climactic musical event. The second rendition of the Baroque coronation opera in history, performed by the Musica Floreta ensemble.
A national cultural heritage site, the Windisch-Grätz Riding School in Světce by Tachov was completed in 1861, in a period when Baroque was already history. Nevertheless, the character of the riding school makes it an ideal place to host exceptional events, which is why we could not leave it out when selecting our festival venues.
The Prince of Windisch-Grätz was almost seventy years old when he started with the reconstruction of the majestic monastery of the order of Saint Francis of Paola into a Romantic chateau in Světce. He must have anticipated he would hardly be able to enjoy the results of this costly work. In light of this fact, we find it even more surprising that another costly project was launched here at the same time – the construction of a monumental riding school, built in the neo-Romanesque style fashionable at that time. The riding school edifice in Světce combines elements of industrial architecture with a vision of an aristocratic building. Back in 1861, the edifice was bound to arouse a surreal impression. The unique wooden structures of the roof frame and the generous space still astound those who come to visit. We would hardly be able to find another hall in the region with a layout more convenient for the climactic artistic event of the festival, or one more worthy of hosting the second performance in history of the coronation opera Costanza e Fortezza by Johann Joseph Fux.
9 Weeks of Baroque will present the second-ever performance of the opera, in a renewed premiere. This event is inarguably one of the highlights of the festival. The renewed premiere will take place on a stage called Florea Theatrum, inspired by the theatre technologies of High Baroque. The plentitude of diverse decorations, the historical painting technique, the original illumination based on coordinated candle and mirror systems: all of this lends authenticity to the vivid picture of the poetic character of stage architecture used in historical theatres. The design of the stage has been based on the preserved, centuries-old stage constructions and machineries in Český Krumlov, Litomyšl and the Swedish royal palace in Drottningholm.
The history of the opera
The coronation of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor of Habsburg, as the King of Bohemia on 5 September 1723 in Prague was indisputably the grandest secular Baroque celebration in the Bohemian lands. On 28 August, shortly before this statesman's act of supreme importance, Prague Castle hosted a performance of a grandiose musical and dramatic piece by the composer Johann Joseph Fux and librettist Pietro Pariati titled Costanza e Fortezza. It is general knowledge that the title of the work derives from the prime personal virtues of Emperor Charles VI – Constantia et Fortitudine – Constancy and Fortitude. Both domestically and abroad, however, Costanza e Fortezza is generally known first and foremost for its association with the phrase "coronation opera". The connection of the work with the coronation is reflected also in the extraordinarily high number of participants – 1,200 performers and 4,000 audience members.
ARTISTS AND PARTICIPANTS