Arsinoe [Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus]
- Olive Baldwin
- and Thelma Wilson
[Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus]
Opera in three acts by Thomas Claytonto a libretto by Tommaso Stanzani, translated by Peter Anthony Motteux; London, Drury Lane, 16 January 1705.
The opera opens with the hero Ormondo (countertenor) foiling an assassination attempt on Queen Arsinoe (soprano) instigated by Dorisbe (soprano), a princess who holds the Queen responsible for her father’s death. Arsinoe and Ormondo fall in love, but Dorisbe is in love with Ormondo and is herself loved by Feraspe (bass), the captain of the Queen’s Guard. After much misunderstanding and jealousy, a duel between Ormondo and Feraspe, a second murderous attack on Arsinoe, a prison scene with Ormondo in chains in which Arsinoe realizes that he is of royal birth and a suicide attempt by Dorisbe the opera ends with Arsinoe about to marry Ormondo and the forgiven Dorisbe united with Feraspe. Light relief is provided by Ormondo’s servant Delbo (bass) and Dorisbe’s old nurse (contralto)....