Mozart &
Material Culture


Opera libretto by Pietro Metastasio, originally written to celebrate the birthday of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Loosely based on ‘The Trial of the Suitors’ from book 6 of Herodotus’s The Histories, the opera was first set by Antonio Caldara in 1733. A popular text, it was subsequently set by Antonio Vivaldi (1734), Baldassare Galuppi (Milan, 1748), Johann Adolf Hasse (Dresden, 1756), Niccolò Jommelli (Stuttgart, 1761), Florian Leopold Gassmann (Vienna, 1764), Josef Myslivečk (Naples, 1778) and Luigi Cherubini (Venice, 1783), among others. Mozart set the text of ‘Non sò d’onde’, from act III, scene 6 of L’Olimpiade, in 1778 (K294).