Joseph Haydn: L’isola disabitata
They say nothing happens by chance. In 1779, fire broke out in the Eszterházy Castle in Fertőd. The Chinese ballroom and the famous theatre hall both burned to the ground, but, in a manner verging on the miraculous, the fire did not reach Haydn’s living quarters. The fateful event occurred just a few weeks before the premiere of The Deserted Island. Had the fire done more damage, we would never have known about this royal Robinson Crusoe tale of misunderstanding, along with who knows how many other works.
Haydn – when we hear his name, we think of symphonies, string quartets, and perhaps oratorios. Operas do not come to mind so much, even though he wrote 15 of them. This opera is the fourteenth of these, performed on the stage on the Royal Staircase in a production by the Moltopera.