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date: 24 September 2020

Sesostri, re di Egitto (‘Sesostris, King of Egypt’)locked

  • Rebecca Green

Extract

(‘Sesostris, King of Egypt’)

Libretto by Pietro Pariati , first set by Francesco Gasparini (1710, Venice). It was long but mistakenly supposed to be a joint work of Pariati and Apostolo Zeno.

Aprio, king of Egypt, has been murdered by Amasi, who has usurped the throne. Each had a son, brought up secretly. Many years later, Aprio’s son Sesostris kills Amasi’s son Osiride, whom he then impersonates. Under this disguise, ‘Osiride’ presents himself to Amasi, who commands him to explain to Nitocri (widow of Aprio) how he killed her son (Sesostris). She vows revenge and attempts to involve Artenice, betrothed to Sesostris in childhood. Meanwhile, Artenice has fallen in love with ‘Osiride’, a situation further complicated by Amasi’s decision to wed her. Nitocri is imprisoned when she is discovered attempting to kill ‘Osiride’. Then Sesostris is arrested when Osiride’s tutor, Canopo, testifies that Osiride is dead by the hand of Sesostris. Amasi offers the unsuspecting Nitocri the opportunity to kill Sesostris, but Sesostris narrowly escapes when Artenice tells Nitocri she is about to kill her own son. Amasi is condemned and Sesostris is hailed as the new king of Egypt, with Artenice as his bride....

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