Classical Opera was founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page to explore the works of Mozart and his contemporaries, and has emerged as one of the leading exponents in its field. Performing with its own acclaimed period-instrument orchestra, the company has attracted considerable critical and public recognition, not only for the high quality of its performances but also for its imaginative programming and its ability to discover and nurture outstanding young singers. In 2015 the company launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project following the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences.
Classical Opera has performed regularly at many of London’s leading venues, including Sadler’s Wells, Wigmore Hall, the Barbican and Kings Place, and has mounted staged productions of many of Mozart’s operas, including Apollo et Hyacinthus, La finta semplice, Il re pastore, Zaide, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. In 2009 it was invited to present The Royal Opera’s new production of Thomas Arne’s Artaxerxes, and it has also given the world première of the ‘original’ version of Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto, the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito and Telemann’s Orpheus, and concert performances of Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Arne’s Alfred and J.C.Bach’s Adriano in Siria.
Classical Opera’s first two recordings – ‘The A–Z of Mozart Opera’ (Sony BMG, 2007) and ‘Blessed Spirit: a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live, 2010) – were both selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice, and they were followed in 2011 by Arne’s Artaxerxes on Linn Records (Opera Choice, BBC Music Magazine; Disc of the Month, Opera). This CD is the fourth release in Classical Opera’s complete recording cycle of Mozart’s operas, following Apollo et Hyacinthus (Linn Records, 2012), Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and Mitridate, re di Ponto (Signum Classics, 2013 & 2014).