A highlight of the Handel commemorative year (250th anniversary of death) was the Salzburg Festival’s first-ever staging of Handel’s oratorio “Theodora” of 1750. Christof Loy, who was voted
“director of the year” three times by the prestigious journal “Opernwelt”, created a production that is, in his words, “almost as an installation”, and groups his characters around the remains of a gigantic organ in situations that echo the libretto’s tragic dilemma of love, faith and virtue. His concept is supported by the vigorous Ivor Bolton and the Freiburger Barockorchester playing on original instruments, the Salzburger Bachchor, and, above all, by a fine cast. It is led by the luminous Christine Schäfer as a Theodora who “perfectly encapsulates the heroine’s combination of fragility and defiance” (AFP), and countertenor Bejun Mehta, who “excels as Theodora’s lover Didymus” (The New York Times). Video director Hannes Rossacher, known both in the pop (Rolling Stones) and classical worlds (Mozart’s “Lucio Silla” for UNITEL), captures the essence of this rarely recorded work, another joint project of the exclusive audiovisual partners Salzburg Festival and UNITEL CLASSICA.