June 25, 2016 2 Comments
Francesco Araja was born and educated in Naples, Italy. He was brought to Russia along with an entire opera company and became “Composer to the Tzars.” Lived there for 25 years and wrote the first opera in the Russian language, Цефал и Прокрис (Tsefal i Prokris – Cephalus and Prokris). Based on episodes from Ovid, “Metamorphoses,” it became a big hit with the Empress, who bought him a fancy sable coat. I had to pick this piece today because I spent a year in Naples from 1980-81. An amazing place.