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Three Melodramas by Pietro Metastasio

Three Melodramas by Pietro Metastasio

Translated with an Introduction by Joseph G. Fucilla
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Three Melodramas by Pietro Metastasio
    Book Description:

    Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi (1698--1782) was an Italian poet and librettist, considered the most important writer ofopera serialibretti. In this volume, Pietro Metastasio presents new translations ofDido Abandoned, Demetrius,andThe Olympiadthat stay close to the original form and wording. Featuring an introduction that highlights the playwright's life and significant innovations in dramatic technique as well as a short bibliography, Fucilla's translations will be of interest not only to literary scholars, but also to those concerned with the history of music.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6387-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    Pietro Metastasio, whose real surname was Trapassi, was born of humble parentage in Rome in 1698. Quite early he showed literary precociousness by improvising and singing verses to audiences of children in the streets of the Eternal City. One day in the course of one of his improvisations (he was only ten at the time), he attracted the attention of Gian Vincenzo Gravina, eminent jurist, distinguished dramatist and critic, and one of the founders of the famous Arcadian Academy. Gravina obtained permission from the boy’s parents to adopt him, and Hellenized his name to Metastasio, frommetastasis,crossing, a translation...

  4. A Note on the Translations
    (pp. 15-16)
  5. Three Melodramas

    • Dido Abandoned
      (pp. 19-64)

      After her husband was killed by her brother Pygmalion, Dido, widow of Sichaeus, who was amply provided with wealth, fled to Africa where she built Carthage. There many asked for her hand, Iarbas king of the Moors being the most determined among them, but she always declined because she wished to remain faithful to her dead consort. At this time Aeneas was tossed by a storm on the shores of Africa. He was given shelter and restored to health by Dido, who fell passionately in love with him. While he was enjoying her affections he was commanded by the gods...

    • Demetrius
      (pp. 65-112)

      After being ejected from his own kingdom by the usurper Alexander Bala, Demetrius Sotere died in exile among the Cretans, who were the only friends he had left during the period of his adverse fortune. Before his flight, however, he handed over his son Demetrius to Phenicius, his most loyal vassal, to rear him as his eventual avenger. The royal prince grew up unaware of who he was under the false name Alcestes. For a time he lived in the woodlands where the prudence of Phenicius hid him from the search of the above-mentioned usurper Alexander, and later in Seleucia...

    • The Olympiad
      (pp. 113-156)

      Clisthenes, king of Sicyon,is the father of the twins Philinthus and Aristea. On being warned by the Oracle of Delphi that he would be killed by his son, the king on the advice of this Oracle had the boy exposed. The girl he reared. She grew up to be a beautiful young lady, loved by Megacles, a noble and brave youth who had been a winner a number of times at the Olympic games. Because her father, who hated Athenians, would not consent to this marriage, he left for Crete in despair. There, having been attacked and almost killed by...

  6. Bibliography
    (pp. 157-160)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 161-161)