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La Silvia

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La Silvia

La Silvia (RV 734) is an dramma pastorale per musica in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi to an Italian libretto by Enrico Bissari. It was first performed on 28 August 1721 at the Teatro Regio Ducale in Milan on the occasion of the birthday celebrations of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth Christine, wife of Emperor Charles VI of Austria.

Background

In 1718 Vivaldi had been nominated maestro di cappella di camera,[1] at the court of Philipp von Hessen-Darmstadt[2] in Mantua for whom he composed Armida al campo d'Egitto, Teuzzone, Scanderbeg (all 1718) and then Tito Manlio (1719) and La Candace (1720).[3] On his return to Venice, following performance of La verità in cimento at the Teatro Sant'Angelo, Vivaldi, thinly disguised as "Aldiviva", became, along with Giovanni Porta, Anna Maria Strada and others, one of the principal targets of the gentleman-composer Benedetto Marcello's satirical pamphlet Il teatro alla moda (written 1718-1719, published 1720).[4][5][6]

Bissari's text had originally been written in 1710 as a play for Princess Teresa Kunegunda Sobieska,[7] second wife of the Bavarian elector Maximillian II Emmanuel.[8] The opera was performed again in Milan in 1723 and 1724.[9] 8 of the arias are preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Torino.

Roles

Role Voice type Premiere cast, 28 August 1721[10][11]
Silvia soprano Margarita Gualandi
Elpino soprano Anna Bombacciari
Tirsi[12] alto castrato Giovanni Battista Minelli
Nerina soprano Anna Maria Strada
Egisto tenor Annibale Pio Fabri
Faustulo bass Giuseppe Montanari

Recordings

References

Notes

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