As women were banned from singing on stage in Rome part of the Papal States at that time, all the female roles were played by castrati. As was typical of Baroque Italian operas of the 18th century, the heroic roles of Arbace and Artaserse were played by castrati. The lone tenor plays the main villain Artabano, as typical of Baroque Italian operas, where the broken male voice is usually assigned to villains and servants. Overture[ edit ] As is typical of Italian operas of that time, Artaserse opens with an Italian overture or sinfonia in three fast-slow-fast movements in this case allegro, grave and minuetto. Act 1[ edit ] The opera opens in a moonlit garden of the palace of Serse Xerxes. Serse has opposed their marriage and banished Arbace from the palace.
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As women were banned from singing on stage in Rome part of the Papal States at that time, all the female roles were played by castrati. As was typical of Baroque Italian operas of the 18th century, the heroic roles of Arbace and Artaserse were played by castrati.
The lone tenor plays the main villain Artabano, as typical of Baroque Italian operas, where the broken male voice is usually assigned to villains and servants. Overture[ edit ] As is typical of Italian operas of that time, Artaserse opens with an Italian overture or sinfonia in three fast-slow-fast movements in this case allegro, grave and minuetto.
Act 1[ edit ] The opera opens in a moonlit garden of the palace of Serse Xerxes. Serse has opposed their marriage and banished Arbace from the palace. Arbace climbs the wall into the garden. The two young lovers express their love for each other, as well as their pain for not being able to be together despite their love.
Arbace and Mandane say goodbye as Mandane heads back into the palace, and Mandane asks Arbace not to forget her. Aria: Conservati fedele. As Mandane heads back into the palace, Artabano arrives carrying a bloody sword. Artabano confesses the murder to Arbace and exchanges his bloody sword for that of Arbace. Aria: Fra cento affanni e cento. Arbace leaves and Artabano says that eliminating the whole royal family was the only way for Arbace to become king.
Who approach the royal bed? Nay, more, his royal ambition Artaserse expresses apprehension at having to kill his own brother, but Artabano declares that a son who murders his father is no son. Aria: Su le sponde del torbido Lete. Megabise enters and Artaserse confides his sadness and anger at the recent events to Megabise. Megabise consoles Artaserse and says that killing Dario was necessary as a form of self-defense. Semira asks Artaserse not to leave but he proceeds to do so anyway, but not before declaring his love for Semira.
Semira knows that something is wrong and asks Megabise, who tells her that Serse was murdered in his sleep and Dario is the one responsible. Semira expresses her shock, but Megabise is indifferent, declaring that it does not matter who is on the throne. Aria: Sogna il guerrier le schiere. Semira expresses her pain at separation from Artaserse due to the recent events. Artabano enters and announces the execution of Dario.
Mandane expresses her grief, while Artaserse expresses his guilt at having to resort to this, though Artabano says that it is a just punishment for murdering his father. Semira enters and declares that Dario was not the murderer, as the murderer had escaped through the garden with blood still fresh on his sword.
Given the evidence, Mandane thinks that Arbace must be the murderer. Artaserse and Mandane also realise that they had just put an innocent man to death. Artaserse demands that Arbace be brought before him. Megabise enters and declares that Arbace is the murderer. Arbace is brought into the palace in chains by the palace guards, and he declares his innocence.
Artaserse asks Arbace to prove his innocence, but Arbace is unable to do so, and can only offer his word as evidence. Presented with overwhelming evidence before him, Artaserse has no choice but to declare Arbace guilty.
Artaserse declares the case solved but does so painfully as he leaves. Aria: Deh respirar lasciatemi. Arbace asks for Artabano to take pity on him, but Artabano declares that a son who is a traitor is no son of his. Aria: Non ti son padre. Arbace then turns to Semira, but Semira says that she will support him if he can prove his innocence, but as he is currently seen to be guilty, she cannot let her feelings get in the way. Aria: Torna innocente e poi. Finally, Arbace turns to Mandane and asks her to believe in his innocence, but Mandane refuses to do so and angrily declares Arbace her enemy before she leaves.
Aria: Dimmi che un empio sei. Arbace laments his fate, but is unable to speak up due to his love for his father. Aria: Vo solcando un mar crudele. Act 2[ edit ] Artaserse and Artabano are talking about the recent events, and Artabano says that Arbace deserves to die for his crime. However, Artaserse is reluctant to kill his friend, and envies Artabano for his mental strength to condemn his own son without question.
Nevertheless, Artaserse says that Arbace has proclaimed his innocence and refuses to believe that his friend is guilty, instead believing that there must be some other reason for his silence. Aria: Rendimi il caro amico. After Artaserse leaves, Arbace is brought in by a guard. Artabano asks the guard to leave the two of them alone. Artabano plans to sneak Arbace out, but Arbace refuses. Artabano reveals his plans to kill the whole royal family and make Arbace king. Aria: Mi scacci sdegnato!
Arbace is led away by the guard, and Artabano sighs, saying that despite all that he cannot condemn the son he loves. Megabise says that time is short and they have to act quickly if he is to secure the throne for Arbace. Together, Artabano and Megabise discuss the plans to kill Artaserse.
Semira enters, and Artabano forces her to marry Megabise against her will. Aria: Amalo e se al tuo sguardo. Semira asks Megabise to spare her from the marriage if he truly loves her, but Megabise refuses.
Semira declares that Megabise can have her body, but can never win her heart. Nevertheless, Megabise is content to marry Semira, even if it means that she will hate him for it. Semira is devastated at the turn of events.
Mandane enters and talks to Semira. It pains both of them greatly to think of Arbace as a traitor, and Semira notes that Mandane will have to abandon her feelings for him. However, it still pains Mandane greatly to think that the man she loved would turn out to be so cruel. Semira also feels greatly conflicted, and is confused about whom to side with in this crisis.
Meanwhile, in the Great Hall of the Royal Council, Artaserse is hesitant about taking the throne as he is afraid that his inexperience will let everyone down. Megabise enters and informs Artaserse that Mandane and Semira wish to speak to him. Megabise then escorts the women in. Semira pleads with Artaserse to have mercy on Arbace, but Mandane insists that vengeance must be served.
Artaserse is unsure of what to do as making a decision means having to choose between his sister and his lover. Artabano enters, and Artaserse asks Artabano to console him. Artabano says that Arbace deserves to be punished, but Artaserse is conflicted, and worried about Semira wrongly accusing him of cruelty.
However, Mandane doubts that Artabano will actually carry out the punishment against his son. Arbace is then escorted in by guards to stand trial. Arbace is horrified to see his father as the judge. Once again, Arbace chooses to remain silent, but continues to maintain his innocence. Artabano thus declares Arbace guilty, to the horror of Artaserse. Arbace is sad that his father would condemn him so in front of his very eyes. Aria: Per quel paterno amplesso.
Mandane is horrified to see Artabano condemning his own son to death, and accuses Artabano of being heartless. Nevertheless, Semira accuses Artaserse of being a tyrant. Artaserse and Artabano lament the accusations that Semira and Mandane respectively have made against them. Aria: Non conosco in tal momento.
Act 3[ edit ] In the prison, Arbace continues to lament his cruel fate. Artaserse, who has been doubting the guilt of Arbace, his long-time friend, all this while enters the prison to secretly release Arbace. Aria: Nuvoletta opposta al sole. Artabano arrives at the prison with Megabise and the other conspirators to look for Arbace. However, Arbace had already escaped and was nowhere to be found. Artabano thinks that Arbace has already been executed, and Megabise promises to help Artabano get his revenge as he poisons the sacred cup.
Aria: Ardito ti renda. Meanwhile, Artabano is devastated at the apparent death of his son, and swears to have his revenge by killing Artaserse. Meanwhile, Mandane is conflicted by her feelings for Arbace. Aria: Mi credi spietata? Semira realises that insulting Mandane has not made her feel any better. Meanwhile, Arbace sneaks into the palace to look for Mandane. Mandane is happy to see that Arbace is still alive, but at the same time cannot bring herself to forgive Arbace for killing her father.
Artaserse, surrounded by his nobles, swears to maintain the rights, laws, and customs of his subjects and is about to pledge this by drinking from the sacred cup, unaware that Artabano has poisoned the drink.
ARTASERSE LIBRETTO PDF
Something other than politics in Washington, D. Through various accidents which supply the episodes that adorn the present dramain the end his treason is exposed and the safety of Artaxerxes is assured, which exposure and assurance are the main action librettl the drama. Sibelius, Incidental Music, Vol. Artabanus, who loves his son despite all his evil designs, intervenes and confesses. Gergiev May 13, J. Mayr, SaffoA.
Artaserse (Vinci, Leonardo)