- Don Neville
Libretto by pietro Metastasio , first set by Leonardo Vinci (1730, Rome).
Act 1 King Serse [Xerxes] of Persia has banished Arbace [Arbaces], a friend of his son, Prince Artaxerxes, because he is the beloved of his daughter, Princess Mandane. Arbaces’ father, Artabano [Artabanus], assassinates Xerxes and, finding Arbaces secretly returned to visit Mandane, exchanges swords with him so that Arbaces may hide the murder weapon. Artabanus then convinces Artaxerxes that his brother Prince Darius is the assassin and, acting quickly upon Artaxerxes’ first reactions, immediately has Darius executed. Arbaces is subsequently accused and arrested, and although Artabanus urges punishment, Artaxerxes is reluctant to condemn his friend and the brother of Semira, the woman he loves....