A tale of young love and royalty in disguise, Mozart’s comic gem, The Royal Shepherd (Il Re Pastore), is one stunning aria after another. This production—though at its heart a simple story of love vs. duty—wrestles with age-old questions about authenticity, identity, gender roles, and what makes a good, just leader. And this being Mozart—the most human and compassionate of composers with such a deep understanding of the human heart—the opera emerges as a touching, entertaining and uplifting fable, complete with a double wedding at the end. A perfect summer evening's entertainment!
The Royal Shepherd: Librettist
Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782) was an Italian poet and the most celebrated librettist in Europe writing during the 18th century for the opera seria. His librettos were set more than 800 times by numerous composers. In addition to Il Re Pastore (The Royal Shepard), Mozart also composed La Clemenza di Tito based on a very popular libretto by Metastasio.
There are monuments to Metastasio in Rome and in Vienna. There are also theatres named after him in the Italian cities of Prato and Assisi. During his long life Metastasio wrote many letters. The English musician and writer Charles Burney translated Metastasio’s letters into English. In 1796, Burney used them to write a book about the life of Metastasio, entitled Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Abate Metastasio.