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date: 22 January 2020

Andromeda (opera by Manelli)locked

  • John Whenham


Opera in a prologue and three acts by Francesco Manelli to a libretto by Benedetto Ferrari ; Venice, Teatro S Cassiano, Carnival 1637, before 25 February.

The opera, based on the myth of Perseus and Andromeda, is set in Ethiopia and required two stage sets. The account that follows is a conflation of the 1637 libretto and scenario. The curtain opens on to scenery depicting a rocky seashore at sunrise against which Aurora [Dawn], borne across the stage on a cloud, sings the prologue. Giunone [Juno] enters in a golden chariot drawn by peacocks, and Mercurio [Mercury] flies on to the stage. Cassiope [Cassiopeia], Queen of Ethiopia, has angered Juno by boasting that she is more beautiful than the goddess. Juno has resolved that her punishment will be to see her daughter Andromeda devoured by a sea monster. The scene changes to woodland, and Andromeda enters with a chorus of nymphs. They praise the beauty of the woods and depart to hunt a boar which has been terrorizing the countryside. The scene changes back to the seashore. Mercury brings Juno’s orders to Nettuno [Neptune], who summons Protheo [Proteus] from the depths and orders him to release the most ferocious of his sea monsters. The act ends with a madrigal sung behind the scenes, followed by an intermezzo – a dance performed by three boys dressed as Cupids....

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