Long-lost Vivaldi gets a premiere

From the Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- When a musician from the southern Czech Republic stumbled upon an anonymous score, he knew it was the long-lost opera "Argippo" by Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi.

Ondrej Macek, 36, a harpsichordist and conductor from Cesky Krumlov, then decided to bring the opera back to Prague, where it had opened 278 years ago.

The 2008 premiere will be attended by hundreds of Vivaldi's fans at Prague Castle tonight. It will be performed by Macek's Baroque Music Ensemble Hofmusici.

Sifting through European archives in the autumn of 2006, Macek discovered that the troupe of Italian singers and musicians that had first performed "Argippo" in Prague later moved on to Regensburg, Germany. It was there that he tracked down the score.

Or most of it. Only about two-thirds of the score survived the centuries, and Macek used other arias from Vivaldi to fit the preserved text.

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