Siface re di Numidia [Siface; Viriate](‘Syphax, King of Numidia’)
- Don Neville
[Siface; Viriate](‘Syphax, King of Numidia’)
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio , first set by Francesco Feo (1723, Naples).
Siface, King of Numidia, has sought peace with the King of Lusitania by offering marriage to his daughter, Viriate, even though he loves Ismene, daughter of Orcano, a Numidian nobleman. Ismene ignites Siface’s animosity towards Viriate when she threatens to reject him if she cannot have the throne. Viriate, however, gains the support of Erminio, general of the Numidian armies, who, in love with Ismene, is distressed by her conduct, as is Orcano. Viriate also gains the respect of Libanio, Siface’s confidant, when she repels his advances. Orcano threatens Ismene with his sword, then offers his own life to Viriate in reparation for his daughter’s conduct. Viriate blames herself for his distress and urges Ismene to leave the palace; this she refuses to do.
Act 2 Viriate is imprisoned; when Orcano protests, Siface charges her with infidelity. Erminio attempts to rescue her, fails, and is also imprisoned. Siface then reads a spurious letter to Orcano, supposedly written by Viriate to Erminio, in which the king’s assassination is planned. Both Viriate and Erminio deny such duplicity in spite of rewards offered by Siface for confessions....