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Vivaldi : Ercole su l TermodonteViena, 2009 (Audio)
Director: Fabio Biondi
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Ercole su'l Termodonte (Hercules in Thermodon) is a baroque Italian opera in three acts. In 1723, it became the sixteenth opera set to music by Antonio Vivaldi. Its catalogue number is RV 710. The libretto was written by Antonio Salvi (not Giacomo Francesco Bussani as previously misattributed). The opera was premiered January 23, 1723 in Rome's Teatro Capranica.
Due to a papal edict preventing women from appearing onstage in Rome, it premiered with castrati singing all the female roles. Vivaldi was both conductor and solo violinist.
Although the score was believed to have been lost, 30 arias and 2 duets were discovered in several archives, and the rest of the opera was reconstructed by Alessandro Ciccolini
The story is based on the ninth of twelve legendary Labors of Hercules. To atone for killing his children in wrath, Hercules must perform twelve labors, the ninth of which is to travel to Thermodon and capture the sword of the Amazon Queen Antiope. (In other versions of the story, the quest was for her magical girdle.) The Amazons were a tribe of female warriors who put all their male children to death.
Hercules, accompanied by the heroes Theseus, Telamon and Alceste, attacks the Amazons and captures Martesia, daughter of the queen. The Amazons then capture Theseus and, as soon as Queen Antiope swears to sacrifice him, Martesia falls in love with him. In the end, the goddess Diana decrees the marriage of Hippolyte with Theseus, prince of Athens, and of Martesia with Telamon, king of Ithaca