Antonio Lotti: Polidoro


Polidoro was the 16th opera written by Antonio Lotti, performed in Venice, at Carnevale 1714, at the Teatro Grimani di S. Giovanni Grisostomo. The surviving manuscript is missing one leaf of paper in the middle of a crucial and beautiful aria; however, I've been able to identify the missing music from other 18th-century manuscript collections.
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The opera requires a cast of seven, and the original performers are shown next to the roles:

Polidoro                 Alto              Francesco Bernardi ('Senesino')
Polinestore             Basso           Giovanni Battista Cavana
Iliona                       Soprano       Diamante Maria Scarabelli
Deifilo                     Contralto      Pietro Casati
Andromaca             Alto               Anna Ambrevil
Pirro                       Contralto       Agata Landi
Darete                    Bass               Giuseppi Boschi

The instrumentation is 2 violins, 2 oboes, 2 flutes, 2 trumpets, viola, bass and keyboard continuo.

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It is the aftermath of the Trojan War. Polinestore, king of Thrace, has taken Iliona, the daughter of King Priam of Troy, as his wife. They live in the royal palace of Sesto with Deifilo, Iliona’s son by Polinestore, and Polidoro, Iliona’s younger brother.
Pirro, son of Achilles, arrives at the palace as an ambassador of the Greeks, asking for Polinestore’s support in the murder of Polidoro. He also hopes to rid himself of a rival to the affections of Andromaca, widow of the Trojan hero Hector, who is in love with Polidoro.

However, years earlier, Iliona, fearing the extermination of the Trojan dynasty by the Greeks, had switched the two babies: and so Polidoro is Deifilo and Deifilo is Polidoro. Polinestore agrees to Pirro’s plot, in the hope of obtaining Polidoro’s hidden Trojan treasure. Iliona must therefore decide whether to reveal the true identities to spare her son, or let him die to save the last heir of the Trojan dynasty. She confides in Darete, the princes’ tutor.

Outraged by Polinestore’s betrayal, Polidoro and Deifilo agree to switch clothes and trade places. But this trick is uncovered and Polinestore eventually orders the sacrifice of ‘Polidoro’. Iliona then reveals the truth: the real Deifilo has been killed and Polidoro survives. Deifilo’s ghost appears to persuade Polidoro to avenge him. Polinestore learns of his tragic mistake, and is blinded on Polidoro’s orders. Andromaca and Polidoro marry, and Pirro is sent back to Greece.

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The libretto was written by Agostino Piovene (1671 - 1733).

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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.