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date: 17 October 2019

Adriano in Siria(iii) (‘Hadrian in Syria’)locked

  • Stephen C. Fisher

Extract

(‘Hadrian in Syria’)

Dramma per musica in three acts by Pasquale Anfossi to a libretto by Pietro Metastasio ( see Adriano in Siria above); Padua, Teatro Nuovo, June 1777.

The libretto is much altered from the 1752 version, incorporating some elements from the 1732 original but giving the three Parthian characters – Osroa [Osroes], Emirena and Farnaspe [Pharnaspes] – greater prominence. Anfossi used a substantial amount of accompanied recitative and he wrote a trio for Emirena, Pharnaspes and Osroes to conclude Act 2. Act 3, greatly shortened in accordance with the conventions of the period, ends with simple recitative. Osroes and Aquilio [Aquilius] (whose role is cut substantially) are written for tenors, while the four lovers are soprano roles. Apart from a few cavatinas, the arias retain the textual structure of da capo arias but are through-composed. Many are in a sonata-form design in which the A sections constitute the exposition and recapitulation and the ...

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