Siroe [Siroe re di Persia (‘Siroes, King of Persia’)](i)
- Anthony Hicks
[Siroe re di Persia (‘Siroes, King of Persia’)]
Opera in three acts by George Frideric Handel to a libretto adapted by Nicola Francesco Haym from Pietro Metastasio’s Siroe as revised for Naples (1727); London, King’s Theatre, 17 February 1728.
Siroe was Handel’s twelfth full-length opera for the Royal Academy of Music and the fourth of the group of five operas in which the leading female roles were designed for the rival sopranos Francesca Cuzzoni and Faustina Bordoni; they sang Laodice and Emira. The other singers were the alto castratos Senesino as Siroe and Antonio Baldi as Medarse, with the basses Giuseppe Maria Boschi as Cosroe and Giovanni Battista Palmerini as Arasse (this part has no arias). Some of the music was originally composed for a version of Beregan’s libretto Genserico (1669, Venice), which Handel abandoned before completing the first act. The new libretto was the first of the three by Metastasio used by Handel, and had been first set, by Vinci, two years earlier in Venice. (For details of the plot, ...