Julia loves Licinius, the celebrated commander who has returned to Rome. He, in turn, can hardly wait to see his beloved again. There is only one obstacle: Julia has given a vow of chastity on becoming a priestess of the cult of Vesta, and to break this means death. When their clandestine meeting is discovered, Julia is sentenced to be buried alive. Licinius publically confesses their love in order to accept Julia’s fate for himself. She, however, denies this love, and prepares herself for death. At the last moment divine intervention saves her life. The premiere in 1807 of this now largely forgotten opera secured Gaspare Spontini’s fame throughout Europe. He became the leading composer of the Napoleonic era, and an idol for the next generation of composers. Richard Wagner, a particular admirer of »La vestale«, specially arranged the work for Dresden.
Tragédie lyrique in three acts by Gaspare Spontini.
Performed in French with German surtitles
Running time 2 hours 30 minutes
Premiere 30 Jun 2013