La stellidaura vendicante

Opera in three acts (1674) by Francesco Provenzale

Conductor: Alessandro De Marchi

Thursday, 23 October 2014, 7 pm

With Raffaella Milanesi, Jeffrey Francis et al.

L´Academia Montis Regalis

Concertante performance in Italian


Francesco Provenzale (1624 -1704) was the first well-known composer, musician and music teacher from Naples. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan School and as such the man who paved the way for Nicola Porpora, Leonardo Vinci and Johann Adolph Hasse. His only extant stage works are the three-act melodrama Lo schiavo di sua moglie (1672; His Wife’s Slave) and the opera La Stellidaura vendicante (1674), also in three acts. The latter was presented to a large audience in 2012 by Alessandro De Marchi at the Innsbruck Festival of Old Music and was recorded on harmonia mundi. The opera’s plot contains both comic and tragic elements. Prince Orismondo and Armidoro, his friend and a knight at court, are in love with the beautiful Stellidaura. She returns the love of Armidoro. The two friends’ first encounter as rivals ends with a wounded arm for Armidoro and is at the same time the start of the comic and slapstick confusion caused by Orismondo’s servant, Giampetro, who sings in the old Calabrian dialect. In the end, Stellidaura is supposed to be poisoned for attempting to murder Orismondo, but once again it is Giampetro who interferes by giving her a sleeping draught by mistake (?). At the end of the opera, after a surprising family relationship has come to light, the two lovers Armidoro and Stellidaura are successfully united.