The opera requires a cast of eight*, and the original performers are shown next to the roles:
Ascanio Castrato Francesco Bernardi ('Senesino')
Evandro Castrato Matteo Berselli
Silvia Contralto Santa Stella Lotti
Alba Alto Johanna Elisabeth Döbricht-Hesse
Mezenzio Tenor Francesco Guicciardi
Oreste Alto Gaetano Berenstadt?
Celso Contralto Vittoria Tesi
Nana Soprano "Baronessa di Bön"
The instrumentation is 2 violins, 2 oboes, 2 flutes, 2 horns (corni da caccia), viola, bass and keyboard continuo (inc. bassoon).
The libretto lists Giuseppi Boschi in the role of ORESTE, though
Boschi was a Bass, and the role is for a Castrato (Alto). Dresden
Mus. 2159-F-6 is a contemporary manuscript of the arias, with each
singer listed in the Index of Arias. It lists Gaetano Berenstadt, a
suitable castrato, in the role. (Interestingly, they have the same
initials.) It also lists Margherita Zani in the role of ALBA, and
Lucia Gaggi in that of CELSO. The remaining singers are the same.
The opera was repeated on 7 and 29 September 1719, which could
explain the changes.
* The role of Nana is one recit and aria, entirely incidental to the plot, and could be excised
The opera could be performed with the high castrato parts sung down
one octave as Tenor parts. Indeed: the Alto part Oreste could
conceivably be sung by a Bass, on the assumption that it was
originally conceived as a Bass part for Boschi and was re-cast for
Alto upon his indisposition.
The libretto was written by Antonio Maria Lucchini (c.1690 - 1730).
A FULL SCORE of the complete opera is available to download as a PDF. Instrumental parts are available on request.
This is a part of our series of all Lotti's surviving opera scores.