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date: 18 November 2019

Ottone [Ottone, re di Germania (‘Ottone, King of Germany’)]locked

  • Anthony Hicks

Extract

[Ottone, re di Germania (‘Ottone, King of Germany’)]

Opera in three acts by George Frideric Handel to a libretto adapted by Nicola Francesco Haym from Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino’s Teofane (1719, Dresden); London, King’s Theatre, 12 January 1723.

Ottone was the first new opera in the Royal Academy of Music’s fourth London season; in it the soprano Francesca Cuzzoni made her London début, as Teofane. The castratos Senesino and Berenstadt sang Ottone and Adalberto, and the cast was completed by Margherita Durastanti (Gismonda), Anastasia Robinson (Matilda) and Giuseppe Boschi (Emireno).

Handel’s first post-performance revision appeared on Cuzzoni’s benefit night (26 March 1723, during the initial run) when three new arias (including ‘Spera, sì’, known as ‘The Pigeon’s Song’) were added for Teofane and another for Adalberto. This version was probably repeated in the revival opening on 11 December the same year and it formed the basis of a concert version performed at Paris in 1724, in which four London singers (but not Handel) took part. The score was substantially revised for a further revival on ...

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