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Subject: Re: wrong composer operas
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:36:18 -0400
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"Semiramide."  Aside from Rossini’s, I’m uncertain how many operas were based on 
Gaetano Rossi’s libretto, but the same tale earlier in an earlier libretto by Metastasio served 
close to 20 composers, including Vinci, Porpora, Jommelli, Hasse, Gluck, Galuppi, Salieri and 
Meyerbeer.  (Then, of course, there's Respighi.)

There are a bunch of operas based on Hamlet, but the one I’ve been most excited about 
was the rediscovery of Faccio’s “Amleto” which we finally got to hear in a broadcast and now 
is the basis of two live recordings.  

An opera title seemingly all but lost (the story of which, of course, appears in a  number of 
other operas with the same characters) is “Didone abbandonata.” another libretto by 
Metastasio.  It was so popular some 50 composers set it, including:  Piccini, Mercadante, 
Porpora and Hasse.  The first setting was by Dominico Sarra in 1724, for whom it appears to 
have been written.  Interestingly Both Dido and Aeneas were sung by sopranos, though, of 
course the latter was for “Soprano Castrato" and sung by Nicola Grimaldi.  

Here is the overture, which “feels” exactly what a baroque opera overture should sound like, 
along with a bravura aria for one of the non-title characters 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HipyKR9Y7-8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEcnlBJr2qA

I was happy to see Salieri’s “Falstaff” mentioned.  It’s a delight.

Like his libretto for “Didone abbandonata,” Metastasio's “La Clemenza di Tito” got set by 
around 50 different composers.  Mozart’s libretto by Mazzola, is an edited/re-worked version 
of Mercadante’s retaining much of the original with some important new material.  Imagine 
such a thing happening today?  

p.

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