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L'Olimpiade (Vivaldi)

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Title: L'Olimpiade (Vivaldi)  
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Subject: L'Olimpiade, Garsington Opera, List of compositions by Antonio Vivaldi, List of operas by Vivaldi
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L'Olimpiade (Vivaldi)

L'Olimpiade is a dramma per musica in three acts that was composed by Antonio Vivaldi. The opera uses an Italian libretto by Pietro Metastasio that was originally written for Antonio Caldara's 1733 opera of the same name. Vivaldi's version premiered in Venice at the Teatro Sant'Angelo on 17 February 1734.


Role Voice type Premiere cast[1]
17 February 1734
Clistene, king of Sicione tenor Marc'Antonio Mareschi
Aristea, daughter of Clistene contralto Anna Cattarina della Parte
Argene, lover of Licida soprano Marta Arrigoni
Licida, son of the king of Clay (mezzo soprano) Angela Zannucchi
Megacle, lover of Aristea and friend of Licida (soprano castrato) Francesco Bilanzoni
Aminta, servant of Licida (soprano castrato) Mariano Nicolini
Alcandro, friend of Clistene bass Massimiliano Miller



Act 1

Megacles arrives in Sicyon just in time to enter the Olympic Games under the name of Lycidas, a friend who once saved his life. Unknown to Megacles, Lycidas is in love with Aristaea, whose hand is to be offered to the winner of the games by her father, King Cleisthenes. Lycidas, once betrothed to Princess Argene of Crete, is unaware that Megacles and Aristaea already love each other, and he subsequently tells his friend of the prize. Aristaea and Megacles greet each other fondly, but Megacles now feels bound by his promise to compete as Lycidas. Meanwhile Argene arrives in Olympia disguised as a shepherdess, to win back Lycidas.

Act 2

Megacles wins the games, confesses the truth to Aristaea and departs, broken-hearted. When Lycidas comes to claim her, Aristaea reproaches him, as does the disguised Argene, much to his dismay. Amyntas, tutor to Lycidas, reports that Megacles has drowned himself, and King Cleisthenes, apprised of the deception, banishes Lycidas.

Act 3

Argene prevents the desperate Aristaea from suicide, Megacles is rescued by a fisherman, and Lycidas contemplates the assassination of the king. Aristaea pleads mercy for Lycidas and Argene offers herself in his place; as proof that she is a princess, she shows Cleisthenes a chain given her by Lycidas. He recognizes it as belonging to his son, abandoned in infancy to forestall the prophecy that he would kill his father. Lycidas, reinstated, accepts Argene, leaving his sister to Megacles.

See also




  • Neville, Don, "L'Olimpiade", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed November 21, 2008), (subscription access)

External links

  • Online libretto

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