Apollo et Hyacinthus

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The Death of Hyacinth by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Apollo et Hyacinthus is an opera, K.38, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1767. It is Mozart's first true opera aged 11, when one considers Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes is simply a sacred drama. It is in three acts. As is suggested by the name it is based upon Greek mythology as told by Roman poet Ovid in his masterwork Metamorphoses. Rufinus Widl wrote the libretto as interpreted from this work.

The myth follows that Hyacinth died accidentally due to a discus thrown by Apollo, which struck Hyacinth on the head. Further, another myth tells, it was the wind god Zephyrus who was actually responsible for the death of Hyacinth. Zephyrus blew the discus off course, out of jealousy, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, spring out from his spilled blood. Rufinus Widl was a priest, hence the story was modified — changing the sexually desired character from Ovid's Hyacinth to Melia, his sister.

Dramatis PersonŠ

  • Oebalus, King of Lacedaemonia (tenor)
  • Melia, daughter of Oebalus (soprano)
  • Hyacinthus, son of Oebalus (soprano)
  • Apollo (alto)
  • Zephyrus, friend of Hyacinthus (alto)
  • First Priest of Apollo (bass)
  • Second of Apollo (bass)nl:Apollo et Hyacinthus
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