Boston's Gardner Museum Presents Scarlatti's La caduta de' Decemviri

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is thrilled to present what is likely the first modern performance of Alessandro Scarlatti's 1697 opera LA CADUTA DE' DECEMVIRI on February 10, 2019. The opera tells the story of Virginia, the hero of Roman republicanism, during the tyrannical rule of the ten men (Decemvirs), and the wicked Appio Claudius.

This opera is unrecorded, yet the score was published in 1980 as part of Harvard's series of publications of the operas of Scarlatti. It is considered a pivotal work, bridging the composer's middle and late stylistic periods, and marks the first of several collaborations with the noted librettist and master of tragicomedy Silvio Stampiglia.

The superb period instrument ensemble ACRONYM makes its Boston debut with this performance. The outstanding young cast features the rising star countertenor Daniel Moody as the evil Appio Claudio. Moody has been praised as having a "vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression" (The New York Times). He will be joined by soprano Sarah Shafer in the role of Valeria. She has been named "a singer to watch" by Opera News, and praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for her "crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence."

Just a few days after the performance, on Thursday, February 14, Botticelli's painting of the Story of Virginia arrives at the Gardner Museum to join the Gardner's thrilling new exhibition, Botticelli: Heroines + Heroes (on view through May 19, 2019). The work has never before seen in the United States.

Isabella Stewart Gardner loved Botticelli, and in 1894 she acquired The Story of Lucretiaand brought this masterpiece to Boston. It was the first Botticelli in America and the first major Renaissance painting in her collection.

With this exhibition, Botticelli's iconic paintings, The Story of Virginia and The Story of Lucretia, will be reunited for the first time, marking a historic moment while exposing Botticelli's masterful storytelling ability.

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