Imeneo (‘Hymen’; ‘Hymenaeus’)
- Anthony Hicks
Opera in three acts by George Frideric Handel to a libretto anonymously adapted from Silvio Stampiglia’s Imeneo (1723, Naples); London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 22 November 1740.
Handel drafted the score of Imeneo between 9 and 20 November 1738, while he was working on his oratorio Saul. As there was no immediate prospect of an opera season it may have been his intention to have something ready to use for celebrating the wedding of the Princess Mary, whose betrothal was then rumoured. The opera was never used for this purpose, however, and was not finished for performance until 10 October 1740, when for the last time Handel attempted to arrange an opera season, at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He had already used some of the music from the draft score in the pasticcio Giove in Argo and his op.6 concertos. The libretto, written as a two-part componimento dramatico for a ducal marriage in ...