Lucio Silla ai tempi di Mozart

On stage Lucio Silla  from 26 February to 17 March A prestigious cast for Marc Minkowski who makes its debut at La Scala conducting the opera written by Mozart for Milan when he was just 16 years old.




Act One

Banished by the dictator Lucio Silla, Cecilio secretly returns to Rome to be reunited with his beloved Giunia, the daughter of the deceased Caio Mario defeated by Silla. Cecilio learns from his friend Lucio Cinna that Silla is also in love with Giunia and for this reason has spread the rumour that Cecilio is dead. Through his sister Celia, Silla tries in vain to overcome Giunia’s resistance and aversion, even threatening her with death and contemplating vengeance. When Giunia and her attendants go to the mausoleum of Rome’s heroes to mourn her father, Cecilio waits for her among the tombs. At first, Giunia, believing him to be dead, takes him for a ghost, but then the two lovers are reunited in an atmosphere of love and hope.


Act Two

Silla’s friend, Aufidio, advises him not to kill Giunia, but to marry her instead, if not for love, as a gesture of political reconciliation. Silla decides there will be a double wedding: he will marry Giunia, while Celia will marry Cinna, whom she is actually in love with. In the meantime, Cecilio is planning an attempt on Silla’s life. Cinna, however, dissuades him from carrying out the plan because, due to the haste with which it has been conceived, it might

fail and endanger Giunia’s life. Cinna, too, has a secret burning desire to strike at Silla. Even so, his plan is different: he suggests that Giunia marries Silla, so that she may kill him in their wedding bed. Afraid and concerned about Cecilio’s fate, Giunia refuses to take part in this plan, and Cinna then considers personally killing the dictator. After Giunia has reaffirmed that she would rather die than marry Silla, the latter is filled with contrasting feelings: on the one hand, he wishes to punish by death the girl’s inflexible resistance; on the other hand, he loves her tenderly. Since Silla has threatened to kill not only her, Giunia fears for the fate of Cecilio and tries to convince him to escape; but he declares that he would never abandon her, and vows that should the assassination attempt on Silla fail and death await him, his shadow will watch over her. Celia, too, unsuccessfully seeks to convince Giunia to marry Silla. On the Capitol, the dictator asks for the Senators’ consent to his marriage with Giunia, as a sign of political reconciliation. As none of the senators opposes the request, Giunia prepares to kill herself. At this moment Cecilio and then Cinna burst into the Senate, intent on assassinating Silla. The attempt fails and Cinna cunningly declares that, actually, he wished to defend the dictator’s life. Cecilio is thrown into prison. Despite everything, Silla is touched and troubled by the deep love that binds Giunia and Cecilio so strongly.


Act Three

Cinna tries to justify himself with Cecilio for his cowardly behaviour during the attempt on Silla’s life. By agreeing to marry Celia, he persuades her to intercede with her brother and convince him not to marry Giunia. The latter is granted one last heartrending meeting with the imprisoned Cecilio. The two lovers are now ready to die: if Cecilio is condemned to death, then Giunia will take her own life to follow him to the grave. While Silla is still troubled with contrasting feelings, Celia and Cinna seek to convince him that by killing Cecilio he will only cause Giunia, as well as the whole of Rome, to hate him. When Cecilio is brought to judgement, an unexpected dramatic turn of events occurs. Silla decides to show how just and magnanimous he is, and thus demonstrate that he is not a hateful tyrant: he pardons Cecilio and consents to his marrying Giunia; he repeals the act banishing his opponents, thus allowing them to return home; he then pardons Cinna, who had confessed to having plotted against him. Finally, to crown everything and in a general atmosphere of jubilation and amazement, Silla renounces the dictatorship and gives Rome back her lost freedom.


Cesare Fertonani

(Translated by Chris Owen)


Lucio Silla

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet Company of the Teatro alla Scala


New production

in coproduction with Mozarteum Foundation and Salzburg Festival



Teatro alla Scala di Milano, From 26 February to 17 March 2015

Category: Mozartiana