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The vocalists were solidly supported and when there was an incidental hesitation, it was a singer’s.

Hasse’s music lacks the genius of his contemporaries Mozart and Haydn. It does however give the singers every chance to demonstrate their virtuosity.

Although the theatre has the customary wall sconces for candles these were not in use, making the climb in darkness even more difficult.

As the theatre is of course not heated, blankets were available.

The audience was also completely silent and attentive during the almost four-hour performance (with two short intermissions) on the increasingly hard benches, except for applause after each aria.

Nobody coughed, moved around or otherwise disturbed others.

The première took place on January 8 took place on 19 September 2014 at the unique Česky Krumlov Castle Theatre, first built in 1680-82 and reconstructed with new machinery in 1765-66.

This machinery and the scenery are still in use, be it sparingly.

They all do so except Hypermestra, who saves her Linceus.Lighting is provided on stage by footlights, which cast dark shadows under the eyes of the singers, by lights hidden in the wings and between the borders above.Nowadays this lighting is low-intensity electric, for obvious reasons.Just before the overture a lighted candle was brought in, from which the players in turn lit their own; a procedure repeated after each intermission.Initially, the ensemble was not quite together, but once the curtain had risen it improved markedly.

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