- Don Neville
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio, first set by Johann Adolf Hasse (1771, Milan) as Il Ruggiero, ovvero L’eroica gratitudine.
Rogerus, a descendant of Hector, has been captured and imprisoned by the Greeks after a heroic battle. Leone, son of Constantine and now Emperor of Byzantium, has secretly saved and freed Rogerus, whom he knows only as Erminio, and both arrive at the court of Carlo Magno [Charlemagne] in Paris. Unaware of Rogerus’s return, Bradamante, his beloved, is distraught since Charlemagne has betrothed her to Leone against her wishes; Clotilde, her confidante, is also distressed, as she is in love with Leone. Leone admits to Rogerus/Erminio that he intends to marry Bradamante. Rogerus expresses support but silently laments his impending loss.
Upon hearing the pleas of Bradamante, Charlemagne declares that any man who can defeat her in combat may have her hand in marriage. Leone suggests to Rogerus that he disguise himself, and fight in Leone’s stead. Rogerus, reluctantly agreeing, overcomes Bradamante in combat....