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date: 14 December 2019

Arianna in Nasso (‘Ariadne in Naxos’)locked

  • Michael F. Robinson

Extract

(‘Ariadne in Naxos’)

Dramma per musica in three acts by Nicola Porpora to a libretto by Paolo Antonio Rolli; London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 29 December 1733.

The action takes place on the island of Naxos where the lovers Teseo [Theseus] (alto castrato) and Ariadne (soprano), forced ashore by a storm, come into contact with Theseus’s wife Antiope (soprano), with the god Libero [Dionysus] (contralto), in the guise of his high priest Onoro, who loves Ariadne, and with Piritoo (bass), who becomes friendly with Theseus and acts as his accomplice. By the use of various threats, Dionysus persuades Theseus to leave Naxos with his wife rather than with Ariadne. He then discloses his true identity to Ariadne and successfully woos her.

Arianna in Nasso was the first of five operas composed by Porpora during his stay in London (1733–6) as musical director of the Opera of the Nobility company, set up in ...

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