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Metastasio's Artaserse

Lucie Skeaping explores Artaserse, one of the most popular opera libretti by the great 18th-century dramatist Metastasio, which centres on Artaxerxes I, King of Persia.

Lucie Skeaping explores Artaserse, one of the most popular opera libretti by Metastasio, the great 18th century dramatist, featuring Artaxerxes I, King of Persia.

The libretto was originally written for and first set to music by Leonardo Vinci in 1730 for Rome, and it was subsequently set by dozens of later composers. In England, Thomas Arne's 1762 Artaxerxes is set to an English libretto that is based on Metastasio's. Lucie Skeaping introduces extracts from a few of the 90 known settings of Metastasio's text.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Domenico Cimarosa

    Overture to 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Toronto Chamber Orchestra. Performer: Kevin Mallon.
    • Naxos.
  • Leonardo Vinci

    Aria 'Cosi stupisce e cade' from Act 2 of 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Daniel Behle. Performer: Diego Fasolis. Performer: Concerto Köln.
  • Thomas Arne

    Aria 'The Soldier, tir'd of war's alarms' from Act 3 of 'Artaxerxes'

    Performer: Classical Opera Company. Performer: Ian Page. Performer: Elizabeth Watts.
    • LINN.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Conservati fedele

    Performer: Teresa Berganza. Performer: György Fischer. Performer: Wiener Kammerorchester.
  • Johann Adolf Hasse

    Overture to 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Les Talens Lyriques. Performer: Christophe Rousset.
  • Johann Adolf Hasse

    Aria 'Palido il sole' from 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Jochen Kowalski. Performer: Heinz Fricke. Performer: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
  • Johann Adolf Hasse

    Aria 'Fra cento affani' from 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Simone Kermes. Performer: Isabella Longo. Performer: La magnifica comunità.
    • Sony Classical.
  • Carl Heinrich Graun

    Aria 'Sul le sponde' from 'Artaserse'

    Performer: Roy Goodman. Performer: The Hanover Band. Performer: Nathalie Stutzmann.
    • RCA.
  • Johann Christian Bach

    Overture no.3 in D major from 'Artaxerxes'

    Performer: Academy of Ancient Music. Performer: Christopher Hogwood.
    • Oiseau Lyre.