The article examines Händel’s Orlando (London, King’s Theatre in the Haymarket, 1733) and the changes made by the composer and an unknown librettist to the plot of its source : Carlo Sigismondo Capeci’s Orlando, overo la gelosa pazzia (Rome, Theatre of Queen Maria Casimira of Poland, 1711), set to music by Domenico Scarlatti. The analysis is based on a model proposed by Gilles De Van for the drammi per musica by Pietro Metastasio. The model is based on the co-presence in the drama of more than an action (usually three), hierarchically organized, differently oriented, and differently perceived by the audience. The changes made by Händel for his Orlando – first of all the substitution of two characters from Capeci (the knight Zerbino and the princess Isabella) with a new one (the magician Zoroastro) – show how the model proposed by De Van could be known by the composer and his entourage, and can be perhaps applied in general to the eighteenth-century dramma per musica.
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Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali "Orizio Vecchi", Modena
La costruzione dell'intreccio nel dramma per musica del Settecento : Il caso dell'Orlando di Händel