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Mozart's first opera is drawn from Greek mythology.

In 1767 Mozart was 11 years old and spending a few months back home in Salzburg after a triumphant four year tour with his sister of many of the capitals of Europe. Among his projects was to compose a musical piece to be performed between two of the acts of a much larger drama at the Benedictine University in Salzburg. In three short acts Apollo and Hyacinthus stands as his first opera for most critics today, because with its solos, duets, trios and choruses it sounds 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 Hyacinthus died accidentally due to a discus thrown by Apollo. In the opera, King Oebelas has two children, Hyacinthus and his sister Melia. Apollo enters to help the kingdom after a sacrifice fails. Apollo and Melia fall in love. But Zephyus, 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 Apollo 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 Salzburg Chamber Choir.