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Vittori: La Galatea

Loreto Vittori
La Galatea
Edited by Thomas D. Dunn
Vittori: La Galatea
Full Score (2002)
9x12, xlix + 182 pp.

Availability: In stock

Loreto Vittori’s La Galatea, his only dramatic work for which the music survives, was published in 1639, quite likely as part of an attempt to regain favor with the composer’s Roman employers and patrons following a questionable event in his personal life. Although dedicated to Vittori’s principal patron, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, the work does not appear to have been performed under Barberini sponsorship, but instead received its premiere in Naples in 1644. The text represents a great expansion, in both characterization and dramatic range, of Gabriello Chiabrera’s pleasant but static version of the Acis, Galatea, and Polyphemus myth. An expanded and considerably revised version of the libretto was published in 1655 in a failed effort to interest Flavio Chigi, another patron, in supporting further performances. Musically, the opera is quite diverse, and includes strophic songs, large variation sets for chorus alternating with smaller forces, and canzonette, as well as recitatives that, when necessary, ably mirror highly charged emotional situations. Less grandiose then some other operatic works of the period, La Galatea is peopled with multi-dimensional characters and contains moments of great dramatic intensity, the reason, perhaps, for the unusually warm praise it received from music historians in the early part of the twentieth century.
Prologo (Nettuno): “Io che de l’ocean reggo l’impero”
Atto primo
   Scena prima (Aci, Galatea): “Luminosa, Rugiadosa”
   Scena seconda (Coro di Tritoni, Venere, Amore): “O d’amor vezzosa diva”
   Scena terza (Clori): “S’io non vaneggio”
   Scena quarta (Venere, Galatea, Aci, Amore, Pastori): “Gioite, o fidi amanti”
Atto secondo
   Scena prima (Polifemo, Amore): “Non vo’ più sospirar”
   Scena seconda (Lucindo, Clori): “Felice mio core”
   Scena terza (Polifemo, Clori): “Misera ninfa”
   Scena quarta (Galatea, Eco, Satiri): “Lungi dal mio bel sole”
Atto terzo
   Scena prima (Galatea, Clori, Aci): “Ed è pur vero, o Clori”
   Scena seconda (Polifemo): “Certo, l’infido arcier da me s’asconde”
   Scena terza (Tritoni): “Qual di fiero, orribil tuono”
   Scena quarta (Venere, Amore, Galatea, Tritoni, Giove, Aci, Coro di Silvani, Clori, Coro di Satiri): “Or vedi, or vedi, Amore”
   Scena quinta (Proteo, Venere, Amore, Galatea, Aci, Coro di Tritoni, Coro di Satiri): “Prima che Febo"
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