Set in classical antiquily, Mozart’s "Il re pastore" tells of the thwarted love of Aminta (the innocent ‘shepherd king’ of the title) for the well-born Elisa, and that of the nobleman Agenore for the deposed tyrant’s daughter Tamiri. No less a figure than Alexander the Great resolves these conflicts of private passion and public status. First performed in Salzburg in 1775, Sir Neville Marriner conducts a top international cast in this 1989 production of the opera from Salzburg’s Landestheater.
The 19-year-old Mozart wrote Il re pastore for the visit of an archduke; its plot, based on hypothetical moments from the life of Alexander the Great, seemed a suitable subject. Alessandro discovers that the heir to the throne of Sidon, which he has recently conquered, actually is the shepherd, Aminta, who is in love with the noble Elisa. But Alessandro wants Aminta to marry Tamiri, the daughter of the late usurper to the Sidonese throne, not realizing that Tamiri loves Agenore, Alessandro’s counselor. When Aminta denounces the throne in favor of love for Elisa, Alessandro relents–and that’s how Aminta becomes il re pastore, the shepherd king…
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Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) is an opera, K. 208, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by Metastasio, edited by Gianbattista Varesco. It is an opera seria. The opera was first performed on April 23 1775 in Salzburg, at the Palace of the Archbishop Count Hieronymus von Colloredo.
Aminta, Il rè pastore (Aminta, the shepherd king) is an extraordinary work commissioned by Farinelli from the Bolognese composer Antonio Mazzoni (1717-85) after the enormous success in Lisbon of his two previous operas, La clemenza di Tito and Antigono.