Il re pastore Synopsis

The Story of Mozart's Two Act Opera

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed Il re pastore and the opera premiered in Salzburg at the Palace of the Archbishop Count Hieronymus von Colloredo on April 23rd, 1775.

Setting of Il re pastore:

Mozart's Il re pastore takes place in the city of Sidon after the King of Macedonia overthrew Sidon's tyrant.  The Macedonian King begins searching for the city's rightful king. 

The Story of Il re pastore

Il re pastore, ACT 1
Elisa rests in a meadow overlooking the city of Sidon with her lover Aminta, a shepherd.

 Aminta worries that their love will be affected by the war between Macedonian King Alessandro and Stratone the Tyrant of Sidon, but Elisa assures him that everything will be fine.  After King Alessandro defeats Stratone, he begins searching for the city's rightful heir to the throne.  He believes the city's true king is Aminta, so he disguises himself and approaches Aminta in the meadow.  The disguised king offers to take Aminta to meet with King Alessandro, but Aminta confesses he would rather stay in the meadow and work as a shepherd.  Meanwhile, the wealthy aristocrat Agenore finds his lover Tamiri, the daughter of the deposed tyrant.  Tamiri worries that Agenore no longer loves her after what happened to her father, but Agenore quickly proves to her his love for her remains true and strong. 

As keeping with tradition and custom, Elisa has received permission from her father to marry Aminta.

 Aminta's father disappeared when Aminta was still an infant.  Agenore tells him it was Stratone who forced him out of the city.  Agenore reveals that Aminta is the true heir to the throne of Sidon.  Aminta ponders the possibilities and powers that comes with being a king, then promises Elisa that he will return to her once he has claimed his title.

 King Alessandro pulls Aminta aside and says that royal duties come before any personal affairs, especially those of love.  He suggests that instead of marrying Elisa, Aminta would benefit to marry Tamiri so that she could take place of her father.  Of course, Aminta wholeheartedly disagrees. 

Il re pastore, ACT 2
Inside the Macedonian camp of King Alessandro, Alessandro instructs Aminta on how to behave like a proper king, starting with dressing like one.  Outside the camp, Elisa desperately tries to enter in order to be with Aminta, but Agenore has been ordered not to let her in.  Despite Aminta's protests, Alessandro has decided that Aminta will marry Tamiri.  Aminta panics as he finds no way out of the situation.  When Agenore finds out that his lover Tamiri has been ordered to marry Aminta, he becomes extremely upset.  Tamiri, rightfully becomes upset too.  She immediately confronts King Alessandro and confesses that her heart beats for Agenore.  Elisa, who was able to get into the camp after the distraught Agenore became too distracted to maintain his duties, begs the king to let her marry Aminta.  Aminta seconds her plea and confesses his love for her.  In the middle of this emotional tornado, Alessandro steps back and reconsiders his current orders.

 Finally realizing that what he was about to do would cause a great deal of grief and injustice, he tells the four lovers that they can marry the one's they love.  Aminta can marry Elisa.  Agenore can marry Tamiri.  After the ordeal is settled, Aminta is crowned king and presented to his city.

Other Popular Opera Synopses:

Wagner's TannhauserDonizetti's Lucia di LammermoorMozart's The Magic FluteVerdi's Rigoletto, & Puccini's Madama Butterfly