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Mozart's first opera, the one act Apollo and Hyacinthius, on the Lyric Stage this Sunday March 6 at 8PM

What did you do when you were eleven years old?

In 1767 Mozart was 11 years old and spending a few months back home in Salzburg after the triumphant four year tour with his sister of many of the Capitals of Europe. It was not a time of rest, and reflection and being an eleven year old, however, and among his projects was to compose a between acts musical piece for a much larger drama at the Benedictine University in Salzburg. In three short acts it stands as his first opera for most critics today, because with its solos, duets, trios and chorus it sounds and looks very much like an opera, even though it was an incidental part of a much larger dramatic work.

The story is based on the myth that Hyacinth died accidentally due to a discus thrown by Apollo. In the opera, King Oebelas has two children, Hyacinth and his sister Melia. Apollo enters to help the kingdom after a sacrifice fails. He and Melia fall in love. But Zephyrus, jealous of the love of Apollo for Melia, who he himself loves, rushes in to say Apollo has slain Hyacinth with a discus. But this is a lie, it was Zephyus who diverted the disc as Hyacinth explains to his father before he dies Apollo and Melia are free to wed. and he causes flowers to grow on Hyacinth’s grave.

Edith Mathis, Arleen Auger and Anthony Rolfe Johnson head the cast, with Leopold Hager conducting the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and the Slazburg Chamber Choir.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.