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date: 13 November 2019

Flavio [Flavio, re di Longobardi (‘Flavio, King of the Lombards’)]locked

  • Anthony Hicks

Extract

[Flavio, re di Longobardi (‘Flavio, King of the Lombards’)]

Opera in three acts by George Frideric Handel to a libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym adapted from Matteo Noris’s Il Flavio Cuniberto (1682, Venice) as revised for Rome (1696); London, King’s Theatre, 14 May 1723.

Flavio was Handel’s fourth full-length opera composed for the Royal Academy of Music; its eight performances ended the 1722–3 season at the King’s Theatre. The cast included Francesca Cuzzoni as Emilia, Margherita Durastanti as Vitige, and the castratos Senesino and Gaetano Berenstadt as Guido and Flavio.

Handel revived Flavio at the King’s Theatre on 18 April 1732, when the bass Montagnana took over the role of Ugone (originally tenor) and the tenor Pinacci the role of Lotario (originally bass); this reversal of voices actually restored Handel’s first plan for the opera, Acts 1 and 2 having been originally written for this combination. Chrysander’s edition largely ignores the pre-performance and 1732 versions of the opera, though a few elements of them are included without explanation. ...

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