Robin Gilbert and Carlos Fittante in "Tigerlily and the Dragonfly". Photo: Julie Lemberger

Mozart's "Idomeneo" Inspires BALAM's New Baroque Ballet

By Carlos Fittante

I am excited to return to Cleveland, Ohio once again to work with the brilliant period music orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, directed by Jeanette Sorrell. Around this time last year, I created and performed the imaginative dances of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” for Apollo’s Fire.

With another commission this year, I created Baroque choreography specifically for the ballet music from Mozart’s “Idomeneo” opera for the Apollo’s Fire Mozart Festival. When this work premiered in 1781, this was Mozart’s first opera seria, a genre characterized by heroic emotion and dramatic purpose. The music is grand and passionate!

Inspiration for my new choreography emanates from two leading characters in the opera, Ilia and Idamante, to present what I see as an archetypal relationship -- a damsel and her knight. Ilia must be rescued, and Idamante needs to prove bravely his chivalry. In the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment, I transform the damsel/knight relationship. The knight dies, the damsel learns to rescue herself, and the two souls become one being.

This new choreography will be unveiled in two performances featuring myself with BALAM’s ballerina and my dance partner, Robin Gilbert. Our first performance, March 13, 8:00 p.m., at the renowned Severance Hall, home to the Cleveland Orchestra and one of the premiere music halls in the Midwest, promises to sell out. Oberlin College’s beautiful Finney Chapel provides the stage for this heroic love story the following day at 4:00 p.m.

Come and see us perform!

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