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Alcide al bivio

  • First Church Cambridge 11 Garden Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 United States (map)

The Harvard Early Music Society The Harvard Early Music Society is excited to present the Boston premiere of J.A. Hasse’s opera Alcide al bivio (“Hercules at the Crossroads”) in collaboration with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. 

Written in 1760, but performed only once in the United States, Alcide al bivio is a festa teatrale that represents a period of innovation for late baroque opera. The rich orchestration, extensive accompanied recitatives, and climactic choruses that Hasse employs in this work anticipate the dramatic operatic writing of his most renowned successors, including Gluck and Mozart. Set to a libretto by Metastasio, the opera tells the coming of age story of the young hero, Alcide. Warned by his tutor, Fronimo, that his father, Zeus, has prepared a test for him, Alcide stumbles upon a crossroads and realizes that he must choose between two opposing paths. The goddess Edonide woos Alcide, attempting to seduce him into following the path toward pleasure, while the goddess Aretea urges Alcide to instead embark on the path toward virtue. Accustomed to relying upon his unparalleled strength and bravery to succeed, Alcide struggles to surmount this challenge with the power of reason alone.

Elias Miller ‘16, executive director and conductor
Christopher Grills, music director
Emily Bishai ‘17, stage director and producer
Erin Olivieri ‘19, producer

Maddie Studt ‘16, mezzo
Andy Troska ‘17, tenor
Charlotte McKechnie ‘15, soprano
Samantha Harrison, soprano

The opera will be sung in Italian with projected titles. 

Friday, April 21st, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 22nd, 7:30 pm

First Church, Cambridge, 11 Garden St

$5 student admission
$10 general admission

Earlier Event: April 21
Alcide al bivio