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date: 22 October 2019

Agesilao, re di Sparta (‘Agesilaus, King of Sparta’)locked

  • Marita P. McClymonds

Extract

(‘Agesilaus, King of Sparta’)

Opera seria in three acts by Gaetano Andreozzi to a libretto by Francesco Ballani; Venice, Teatro S Benedetto, Carnival 1788.

Leucade [Leotychidas] (soprano castrato) is taken prisoner in an uprising against Agesilaus (soprano castrato), initiated by the Congiutati under the leadership of Leotychidas’ father, Lisandro [Lysander] (tenor), a military hero and supposed friend of the king. Outraged by his perfidy, Erissa (soprano), Queen of Paphlagonia and Leotychidas’ betrothed, condemns him to death and offers her hand to the king, much to the dismay of Lysander’s daughter, Aglatide (soprano), who loves the king. When Lysander attempts to take power Leotychidas interposes himself between his father’s sword and the king, thereby earning clemency for both of them. Based on a new libretto by the young Roman author Ballani, the opera enjoyed half a dozen revivals in the years before the Republic. Though still an ‘aria’ opera, with ensembles to end Acts 1 and 2 and a chorus in each act, it contains a few novelties: an aria interrupted by a second character, and a short quartet (‘cavatina a quattro’) when the captured Leotychidas is brought in. When it was revised for Florence in the autumn of ...

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