Eraclea [L’Eraclea] (‘Heraclia’)
Dramma per musica in three acts by Alessandro Scarlatti ( see Scarlatti family, §1 ) to a libretto by Stampiglia, Silvio ; Naples, Teatro S Bartolomeo, 30 January 1700.
The action takes place in Syracuse in 212 bc. Heraclia (soprano) and her daughters Flavia (soprano) and Irene (alto), sentenced to death along with the rest of the family of the late King Hiero, are spared by the intervention of Decio [Decius] (soprano castrato), a Capuan noble in love with Heraclia, and by a pardon brought by Damiro (soprano castrato). Heraclia returns Decius’s love, but when the Roman conqueror of Syracuse, Marcello [Marcellus] (soprano castrato), also falls in love with her she is unable to reject him outright for fear of what might become of her daughters and the citizens of Syracuse. The resulting conflicts between head and heart, in which the daughters’ love affairs with Damiro and another Syracusan noble, Iliso (tenor), become entangled, are finally resolved when Marcellus learns of the true situation and renounces his claims on Heraclia. Comic scenes, unconnected with the main drama, are enacted by Decius’s page, Livio (soprano), and the girls’ tutor, Alfeo (bass)....