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date: 07 August 2020

Ipermestra (‘Hypermnestra’)locked

  • Don Neville

Extract

(‘Hypermnestra’)

Libretto by Pietro Metastasio, first set by Johann Adolf Hasse (1744, Vienna).

Act 1 Danao [Danaus], King of Argos, is informed by an oracle that he will lose his life at the hands of a son of Aegyptus. He therefore commands his daughter, Hypermnestra, betrothed to Linceo [Lynceus], a son of Aegyptus, to murder him on their wedding night; but, unable to commit such a crime, Hypermnestra decides to reject Lynceus. Told of this action by Adrasto [Adrastus], his confidant, Danaus condemns his daughter, who still refuses Lynceus when next she meets him.

Act 2 Danaus instructs Adrastus to tell Elpinice, his niece, that she will inherit the throne if she convinces Hypermnestra to change her mind. Unsure of what to do, Elpinice seeks counsel. Meanwhile, Hypermnestra pleads in vain with her father to spare Lynceus. She learns from Lynceus himself that he plans suicide; she begs him to refrain, but refuses to admit that she still loves him....

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