Alessandro (opera)

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Alessandro (HWV 21), is an opera composed by George Frideric Handel in 1726 for the Royal Academy of Music. Paolo Rolli's libretto is based on the story of Ortensio Mauro's La superbia d'Alessandro. This was the first time the famous singers Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni appeared together in one of Handel's operas. The original cast also included Francesco Bernardi who was known as Senesino.

Alexander the Great

Handel had originally planned Alessandro to be his first contribution to the 1725/1726 season of the Royal Academy. However, Bordoni did not arrive in London in time to stage Alessandro, and Handel substituted his own Scipione in March and April 1726 until her arrival. The opera received its first performance on 5 May 1726 at the King's Theatre, London,[1] and was received "with great applause".[2]

The story recounts Alexander the Great's journey to India and depicts him less in a heroic vein than as vainglorious as well as indecisive in matters of the heart. The work's charm and lightness of touch make it at times almost a comic work.[3] Handel would later revisit the subject of Alexander in his 1736 English-language ode, Alexander's Feast.

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