Partenope is an opera in three acts by Manuel de Zumaya. Zumaya adapted the libretto himself from a Spanish translation of Silvio Stampiglia's Italian libretto which was first set for performance in Naples during 1699 with music by Luigi Mancia.[1] All told, Stampiglia's libretto was used by a variety of composers for more than a dozen operas that were produced all over Italy, including versions by Leonardo Vinci and George Frideric Handel.[2] Zumaya's version was commissioned by Viceroy Fernando de Alencastre Noroña y Silva and produced at the viceroyal palace in Mexico City on 1 May 1711. The production is the earliest known full opera produced in North America and the first opera written by an American-born composer.[3] However, Parténope is not the earliest opera to be performed in the New World, as some sources have reported. That distinction belongs to Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco's La púrpura de la rosa, which premiered ten years earlier in Lima, Peru.[4]

Titlepage of libretto of Zumaya's opera 'Partenope', 1714
Quick facts: Partenope, Librettist, Language, Based on, Pr...
Partenope
Opera by Manuel de Zumaya
LibrettistZumaya
LanguageSpanish
Based onSilvio Stampiglia's Italian libretto
Premiere
1 May 1711 (1711-05-01)
Mexico City
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Partenope may not have been the first stage work by Zumaya that contained music. He had previously written the play Rodirigo for the birth of Crown Prince Luis in 1708. It is possible that he may have also composed music for this play. Unfortunately, both the score of Zumaya's opera and any music he may have written for the play has now been lost.[5]

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