The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art
Vivaldi—now best known for The Four Seasons—was most celebrated for his operas in his own time. In the 18th century, no other opera in Vivaldi’s robust catalogue received more performances than Farnace. Following defeat at the hands of the Romans, Farnace, King of Pontus, tries to avoid capture; the plot develops in a string of events involving disobedience, love across enemy lines, and a scheming mother-in-law. In an incisively theatrical production by Irish director Garry Hynes—whose entry into opera started with her “rapturous” (Opera) production of Kát’a Kabanová at the 2014 Festival—this work examines questions of great contemporary relevance: Will we allow duty or love to rule? What consequences will our sacrifices invite? Will our children benefit or suffer from our choices?