- Don Neville
Libretto by Pietro Metastasio , first set by Johann Adolf Hasse (1743, Hubertus burg). The title Alessandro, rè d’Epiro was used for a later version of the libretto.
Act1 Princess Berenice of Egypt is engaged to Antigonus, King of Macedonia, but loves his son Demetrio [Demetrius]. Antigonus banishes Demetrius who returns to warn his father that King Alessandro [Alexander] of Epirus, previously spurned by Berenice, seeks revenge in a campaign against the Macedonians. Ismene, Antigonus’s daughter, confesses to Berenice her love for Alexander. During the battle, Demetrius disobeys his father in order to ensure the safety of Berenice, and the Macedonians are defeated. Antigonus, after banishing his son, is captured by Alexander along with Ismene and Berenice who steadfastly resists her captor’s protestations of love.
Act2 Demetrius begs Alexander to release Antigonus, offering himself in his father’s place. Alexander accepts, provided Berenice becomes his consort, a condition that Demetrius must persuade her to accept. This Demetrius does, but not before he and Berenice have renewed their vow of mutual love. Antigonus, however, is still held hostage, a situation that remains unchanged even after a victory won bythe reorganized Macedonian army....