J. Chr. Bach's Carattaco - World Premiere

My name is Anders Muskens , and I am writing on behalf of my ensemble Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester. We're a young, emerging early music ensemble based in The Hague, Netherlands, and this is our first giant project!

We propose to premiere Johann Christian Bach’s 1767 opera seria Carattaco on 15 February 2020 in The Hague in an historically-informed performance with period instruments and historical-researched baroque acting, costumes and staging. This early Classical opera has never been revived or recorded, but is richly orchestrated and full of quality music. 

In addition, we also seek to record and release this opera for the first time on CD and digital platforms. 

So far, we have received over 10.000 € in funding towards the project, but we started this fundraiser to help fundraiser to supplement this existing funding and help improve the quality of our release. 

See the event on our website! 

Please indicate when you contribute if you would like to receive any of the following rewards!

€15: Video of the premiere on 14 February 2020
Get access for a limited time (2 weeks) to a video of the premiere performance

€30: Digital Download of the album when the recording is done
Will be granted a digital download of the album in mp3 or FLAC files before the album is released more widely on digital platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. 

€50 (+ shipping): Physical copy of the album, autographed
A copy of the album, which will come on 3 CD's, and will be signed by the director of the project and/or a cast member of choosing.

€100: VIP Ticket to the Premiere in February 2020 in The Hague
A VIP ticket to the premiere of the opera in The Hague on 14 February 2020. Guaranteed good seat and an opportunity to meet with the director, cast, and musicians. 

Please stay tuned to preorder regular tickets. 
Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester is a young professional ensemble with a mission to bring galant, Classical, and early Romantic repertoire; especially that of the Mannheim School of composers, which is often neglected, back to life with historical performance. There is still so much un-revived music which deserves to be heard and we would love to make that happen. The ensemble is made up of students and recent graduates from Den Haag and Amsterdam who all specifically specialized in early music study. The group was founded by Anders Muskens in late 2016, and he is the artistic director and leader of the ensemble. We have performed numerous concerts in the Netherlands and Germany and have played in the Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. A contingent of the ensemble won the „Hofkapelle Elbe-Elster“ für das Jahr 2019 prize at the „Gebrüder Graun Prize“ 2018 in Bad Liebenwerda, DE. For more information about the ensemble, please visit dnmo.nl 

The Opera Carattaco
Carattaco is a 1767 opera seria by Johann Christian Bach about the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century A.D. The work is in three acts, and is about 3 hours long, and it has never been fully revived in modern times, unlike most of the other operas by J.C. Bach. Among one of the main themes of the opera is the virtue and rhetoric of Caratacus, a Silurian King who is betrayed and defeated by the Romans yet is pardoned by Claudius Caesar for his eminent virtue and loyalty to his people.
The opera was premiered on 14 February 1767 at the King’s Theatre in the Hay-Market. It was received extremely warmly by the public, and a contemporary newspaper reviewer wrote: "the masterly Stile of the Music, and particularly the Grandeur of the Chorusses, makes it to be wished that Signor Bach may meet with further Encouragement, as his Genius and Judgment corrupted Taste of our modern Music, and, like a second Handel, again seem admirably calculated to reform the present restore that Elegance and Perfection we have for some time been Strangers to.”

The opera is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, strings, and basso continuo.

About Johann Christian Bach
In the Netherlands, there is no question that we love Johann Sebastian Bach. There is no doubt that  he definitely passed down his gift to his youngest son Johann Christian Bach. Unlike any other member of the Bach family, he would move to Italy, become Catholic, and would distinguish himself as a composer of opera. He would be hired as Master of Musick to Queen Charlotte of Great Britain, and he would establish himself in London. From here, he developed the most fame of any member of the Bach family at the time, gaining international acclaim across Europe and even the American colonies. He was commissioned to write opera in Mannheim and Paris, and also wrote symphonies, concerti, and chamber works; many of which were published and widely distributed. Mozart was one of his greatest admirers, writing “I love him from my heart, and esteem him.”

Project Objectives
1. To bring a fresh approach to the approach of Classical opera through historically-informed performance research and application.
2. To revive a forgotten work of great quality for a modern audience.
3. To make a powerful moving performance based on our understanding of 18th century rhetorical and aesthetic principles.
4. To develop the skills, prowess, and profile of the ensemble, and to pave the way for future professional engagements.

Thank you for your support! We look forwards to bringing this performance to life!


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Anders Muskens 
Delft, NL
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