Il Primo Omicidio

Oratorio in two parts  (1707)

music by

Alessandro Scarlatti

Evil has no recourse. Cain kills his brother Abel and commits the first murder in the history of humankind. »Il Primo Omicidio« explores the ways in which immoral action and taking the law into one’s own hands are rooted in the emotions of envy, inequality and injustice. In Romeo Castellucci’s production, this rarely performed work becomes a meditation on the human condition.

The Italian director’s oeuvre is characterised by a powerful, evocative visual language in which music, light and visual art merge. With the oratorio »Il Primo Omicidio ovvero Caino« by Alessandro Scarlatti, which premiered in Venice in 1707, Castellucci once more turned to a biblical subject after »Moses and Aron«. The story of Cain and Abel is at the centre of Pietro Ottoboni’s libretto, which describes the consequences of being expelled from paradise. Alessandro Scarlatti’s diverse works made him a pioneering reformer of Baroque music who inspired many of his contemporaries to explore new musical paths. He continued to develop the predominant operatic conventions of his era and created the forerunners of the string quartet and the classical symphony. For a long time, »Il Primo Omicidio« disappeared from public performance. It was not until 1964 that the score was rediscovered and has since experienced a renaissance.