EBN 8 | TELEMACO
ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660–1725)
“Telemaco”. Melodramma in tre atti
Libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece
Performing edition based on the autograph and libretto from the first performance edited by Franziska Schnoor
Calypso (S), Telemaco (T), Mentore (T), Erifile (S), Adrasto (S), Sicoreo (A), Tersite (T), Silvina (S), Minerva (S), Nicandro (T), Ombra di Atlante (T) Ob I/II, Hr, Tr, Str, B.c.
Full score and performing material available for hire
Libretto. Complete Italian text and German translation with notes by Nadja Grizzo
Protected by copyright under §§70/71 Section 1 UrhG. VG Musikedition should be informed of all performances
Alessandro Scarlatti rose to musical prominence with meteoric speed and continued to enjoy a distinguished reputation for the rest of his life, even being raised to the nobility as a reward for his services to music. He remains one of the leading figures of the Italian High Baroque. He wrote a large number of works, contributing to every genre. Among his 114 operas, Telemaco is generally regarded as the most successful product of his late creative period. And yet, unlike La Griselda and Il Mitridate Eupatore, this opera had never been performed in the German-speaking world until Thomas Hengelbrock conducted a series of four performances at the 2005 Schwetzingen Festival.
The opera is set on the island of Ogygia, where Calypso once seduced Odysseus in the course of his wanderings. Now Odysseus’s son, Telemachus, is likewise stranded on the island, where Minerva decrees that he shall marry Antiope, the daughter of Idomeneus. She is to meet him on Calypso’s isle under the name of Eriphyle. But Calypso herself falls in love with Telemachus without realizing that he is the son of her former lover, Odysseus. The result is a game of intrigue involving all manner of confusions, including an episode in which Telemachus’s very life is put at risk, when the young Greek is about to be sacrificed in order to atone for the downfall of Troy.
With a plot that is typical of many Baroque operas, Telemaco was the final work by one of Rome’s leading librettists, Carlo Sigismondo Capece. Set to music by Alessandro Scarlatti, it received its first performance in Rome in 1718.