- Hanns-Bertold Dietz
Opera seria in three acts by Francesco Feo to a libretto by Apostolo Zeno after Euripides, Seneca, Corneille and Racine; Rome, Teatro della Valle, 5 February 1730.
At the end of the Trojan war Andromache (soprano), Hector’s faithful widow, her son Astianatte [Astyanax] (alto) and his ‘brother’ Telemaco [Telemachus] (soprano), Ulysses’ child, whom she had abducted and raised as her own, are held captive by Pirro [Pyrrhus] (soprano), King of Epirus, who desires Andromache although she rejects his love. She fears for the life of Astyanax, whom the Greeks regard as heir to Hector’s strength. The Spartan princess Ermione [Hermione] (soprano), betrothed to Pyrrhus, is overcome with jealousy at her lover’s betrayal, and wants to eliminate her rival. Ulisse [Ulysses] (tenor) comes to press Pyrrhus into honouring his commitment to Hermione, to punish Andromache for the abduction and murder (he thinks) of his son, and to kill Astyanax. Protected by Pyrrhus, Andromache hides the boys in Hector’s tomb. When Ulysses discovers them, she reveals that one of them is his son. After Hermione identifies Telemachus, and Astyanax is taken to be executed, Pyrrhus commands that Telemachus too must die. Ulysses then relents and their lives are spared. Pyrrhus, hearing that Andromache would kill herself if forced to be his wife, accepts Hermione....