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date: 07 August 2020

Issipile (‘Hypsipyle’)locked

  • Don Neville

Extract

(‘Hypsipyle’)

Libretto by Pietro Metastasio, first set by Francesco Conti (1732, Vienna).

Act 1 Delayed in Thrace, the men of Lemnos have made concubines of the young Thracian women. In revenge, the women of Lemnos vow to murder their menfolk upon their return. Toante [Thoas], King of Lemnos, has a particular enemy in the widowed princess, Eurinome [Eurynome], whose son, Learco [Learchus], he banished for the harassment of his daughter, Hypsipyle. When Hypsipyle vows to murder her father to satisfy Eurynome, she secretly plans to warn him not to land, but is too late. Thoas is surprised at his daughter’s cool public greeting, but she explains all privately when she bids him hide in the sacred grove of the goddess Diana.

Act 2 Unknown to all, Learchus has returned with a band of pirates and, unrecognized, tells Thoas to flee the grove for his daughter’s sake. Masquerading as Thoas, Learchus plans to seize Hypsipyle and leave Lemnos. Meanwhile, Hypsipyle sacrifices another Lemnian in place of her father, passing the body off as that of Thoas. So convincing is her deception that Giasone [Jason], betrothed to Hypsipyle and just returned to Lemnos, renounces her when he learns of her patricidal act from Eurynome....

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