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Il Xerse

Music by Francesco Cavalli
Dramma per musica in one prologue and three acts with libretto by Nicolò Minato
First performance: Venice, Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 12th January 1655
  Bärenreiter editions, by Sara Elisa Stangalino and Hendrik Schulze

First performance of the new critical edition in modern times
  • This event has passed.
25 July 2022 . H 21:00 Teatro Verdi, Martina Franca29 July 2022 . H 21:00 Teatro Verdi, Martina Franca31 July 2022 . H 21:00 Teatro Verdi, Martina Franca
from €30 to €60

Dramma per musica in one prologue and three acts. Xerse premiered at Venice’s Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in 1655. It was hugely successful, so much so that the libretto was set to music also by other composers, as was customary at the time. The historic subject-matter, fictionalised as it may be, starts to innovate the themes of librettos, which until that time were based exclusively on mythology. The episode narrated is that of Xerxes I, son of Darius and Atossa. Born in c. 519 B.C., he reigned over Persia and the enormous empire, from 486 to 465 B.C. The source is Erodotus, and Minato enriches the libretto in plot and detail. Xerxes is in love with Romilda, future wife of his brother Arsamene; he is loved by Amastre, and hindered by Adelanta, sister of Romilda. He will end up leaving his brother and sister-in-law be, marrying dear Amastre, and punishing Adelanta for being meddlesome. The opera was also staged in Paris to celebrate the nuptials of the Sun King, in an extended version in five acts and interspersed with six dance entrées by Lully.


Presentations and conferences | Mettiamoci all’opera

Conversation about the play Il Xerse by Francesco Cavalli, with Federico Maria Sardelli and Leo Muscato
Chiostro di San Domenico, Martina Franca | Sunday, July 17th h. 7:30 PM
The event is held in Italian

Ritorno al futuro: Xerse e l’irresistibile riscoperta delle opere di Cavalli. International study day in collaboration with the study-group “Cavalli” of the International Musicological Society and the Editorial Board of the “Opere di Francesco Cavalli” edition
Auditorium della Fondazione Paolo Grassi, Martina Franca | Tuesday, July 26th h. 10:00 AM
The event is held in Italian


Conductor Federico Maria Sardelli
Director Leo Muscato
Scenes Andrea Belli
Costumes Giovanna Fiorentini
Light designer Alessandro Carletti 

Xerse Carlo Vistoli
Amastre Ekaterina Protsenko
Romilda Carolina Lippo
Adelanta Dioklea Hoxha
Ariodate Carlo Allemano
Aristone Nicolò Donini
Periarco Nicolò Balducci
Elviro Aco Bišcevic
Cupido Mario Fumarola
Le guardie Greta Corrente, Flavia Grazia Giuliani,
Alessia Martino, Angelica Massafra


Orchestra Barocca Modo Antiquo

Date: 25 July 2022, 29 July 2022, 31 July 2022
Time: 21:00, 21:00, 21:00
Cost: from €30 to €60
Where: Teatro Verdi, Martina Franca