Franz Liszt spent nearly five years on Sardanapalo, an opera based on Lord Byron's tragedy of 1821. Working intermittently, he abandoned an incomplete draft in 1851. The surviving music constitutes the entirety of Act 1, a unique mixture of Italianate pastiche and mid-century harmonic innovation.
Now the opera is being revived by David Trippett at the University of Cambridge. Alongside the publication of a critical edition with EMB, the project promises an exciting contribution to the burgeoning field of practice-based research with performances by rising opera singers Anush Hovhannisyan, Samuel Sakker and Arshak Kuzikyan.
A documentary by Tom Andrews featuring world première recordings produced by Myles Eastwood is now available here. A fully orchestrated excerpt was performed by Anush at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2017. Several complete performances of Liszt's music are planned for the 2018-19 season, including the world première in Weimar on 19 August 2018.