NICOLO PORPORA – Semiramide riconosciuta




Nicolò Porpora

Libretto : Pietro Metastasio

Article no.
SP 1

Full score (A4 adhesive binding, XII + 290 pages)

incl. Critical apparatus


Urtext-Edition and Introduction by Holger Schmitt-Hallenberg

Tamiri (S)
Semiramide (MS)
Mirteo (MS)
Sibari (MS)
Scitalce (A)
Ircano (T, alt. Bar.)
Orchestra: Tr. I, II; Cor. I, II; Vl. I, II; Vla.; Vc.; B; Bc.

Nicolò Porpora set Metastasio’s libretto of “Semiramide riconosciuta” twice: his first version for the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo in Venice 1729 was the first ever setting of this text (together with the simultaneous production with music by Leonardo Vinci in Rome), which was to become one of the most popular libretti in the history of opera. The second version, from which there exists a reprint of the facsimile (Garland, New York 1977), for Neaples 1739, is usually called a revival, but a comparison shows that it is in fact almost an entirely new opera. Both versions had splendid casts, the first performance of the first version was headed by the castrato Farinelli in the role of Mirteo and the Soprano Lucia Facchinelli in the title role. The mostly very virtuosic arias are all in the usual dacapo-form and show Porpora’s elegance both in his use of the orchestra and the vocal line. Highlights of the score include the often recorded “In bracio a mille furie” and Semiramide’s peaceful siciliana “Il pastor se torna”.

The orchestra is limited to strings only in the arias (the brass instruments are only required in the Sinfonia and the final chorus of the soloists), which makes this splendid work especially interesting for smaller ensembles.