Ciro in Babilonia

Ciro in Babilonia is an early work by Rossini composed for the lenten season when only works on biblical/religious themes were permitted.  This doesn’t really fit that description.  Sure, the story of Belshazzar and the writing on the wall gets a brief look in but it’s almost interpolated in the story, from Herodotus, of Cyrus’ capture, together with wife and child, by Belshazzar.  It’s a tale of arrogant kingship, religious faith and marital devotion.  Typical opera seria stuff really.  It’s a bit thin plot-wise though which probably explains its relegation to obscurity.  This first modern production was created at Caramoor, then translated to the Rossini festival at Pesaro, where it was recorded in 2012.

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