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The Padlock

Description: This is a copy of a ca. 1768 edition of Isaac Bickerstaff libretto for the two-act English comic opera "The Paddlock" by Charles Dibdin. The plot is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's "El celoso extremeño" (translated as, The Jealous Estremaduran). The t.p. features a vignette signed by IJ Taylor [possibly by the London engraver Isaac Taylor (1730-1807)] with four infants. The one at the center is holding several keys and is playing horse riding with a walking stick that has a padlock attached to it. In the story, Don Diego, a rich old man, hopes to marry the young Leonora and locks her inside his house using a large padlock on the front door. After bribing the servants, the younger suitor, Leander, climbs over the garden wall to court Leonora. Don Diego returns unexpectedly and catches the lovers, but allows the young couple to wed acknowledging that he is too old for Leonora.
Date: 1768
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.

Le cadi dupé

Description: This is a 1766 copy of the libretto of the one-act comic opera "Le cadi dupé" (The duped judge), by Pierre René Lemonnier to music by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. The first performance of the opera took place at the Paris Foire St-Germain on 4 February 1761. Christoph Willibald Gluck's music replaced that of Monsigny's for the 8 December 1761 performance at the Burgtheater in Vienna.
Date: 1766
Creator: Lemonnier, Pierre René, 1731-1796.

Arianna e Teseo

Description: Libretto of the opera seria "Arianna e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati. The story unfolds in the island of Crete where several young Athenian men are brought to be ritually sacrificed, and Athenian maidens are to be delivered as victims to a minotaur that lives in a labyrinth. Among the Athenians is Arianna, the daughter of Minos (Minosse), King of Crete, who was abducted as a child by King Aegeus, and Teseo, Aegeus's son. Teseo is determined to kill the minotaur in order to save Arianna's friend Laodice, but Arianna believes that he loves her friend. In spite of her doubts, she hands over to Teseo the secret how to kill the minotaur and vanquish Tauride, King Mino's champion, which she overheard from Minos. The work ends with Teseo's victory over the minotaur and his reconciliation with Arianna.
Date: 1764
Creator: Pariati, Pietro, 1665-1733

Sofonisba

Description: This is a ca. 1764 copy of the libretto of the opera seria "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi. Baldassare Galuppi set this libretto to music for the 1764 carnival season in Turin. Mattia Verazi became a court poet at Mannheim and Stuttgart in 1756. Duke Carl Eugen favored operas with French influence, and Verazi catered to his tastes by providing libretti that deviated from Metastasian opera conventions. In 1762, Verazi and Tommaso Traeta collaborated to create operas following French models. Sofonisba was the result of such collaboration. Sofonisba and Siface, king of Numidia, are married and have a child. When Siface fails to return from battle against the Romans, Massinissa, Sofonisba’s former suitor, renews his advances. Siface appears among the captives and rejoins his wife but fail in their attempt to escape from their Roman captors. Afraid that she will be marched in chains through the streets of Rome, Sofonisba poisons herself and is dying when the news arrives that all has been resolved. Baldassare Galuppi composed the music of the opera for the 1764 Turin carnival season. The opening scene includes a programmatic sinfonia that accompanies a pantomimed battle, and later, another pantomime that depicts gladiatorial games. Verazi included detailed instructions for staged actions. Verazi's dramatic ending to the opera included Sofoniba's dramatic suicide. The library's copy of "Sofonisba" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide" by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; "Catone in Utica" by Pietro Metastasio; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
Date: 1764
Creator: Verazi, Mattia.

Catone in Utica

Description: This is a ca. 1763 copy of the libretto of "Catone in Utica," by Metastasio. Gian Francesco de Majo set this libretto to music for the 1763 carnival season in Turin. In this story, Caesar and Fulvio meet Cato, Utica's ruler, and offer him a peace truce, but Emilia, Pompey's widow, suspects treachery and plots to murder Caesar. Cato rejects a Senate's order for a reconciliation with Caesar and demands that Caesar surrender his dictatorial powers. Marzia, Cato's daughter, promised in marriage to Arbace, is in love with Caesar and pleas to her father to deter him from waging war. Arbace, who feels that his love for Marcia was betrayed, is lured by Emilia into an assassination attempt on Caesar. Fulvio is led to believe that Emilia will attempt on Caesar's life as he leaves by the gate of the city and advises him to take a secret path only to discover that Emilia used him to deliver Caesar into the hands of her followers. As Fulvio announces the victory of Caesar's armies in Utica, Cato stabs himself and before dying grants forgiveness to Marcia on condition that she swear loyalty to Arbaces and hatred towards Caesar. The library's copy of "Catone in Utica" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide", by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
Date: 1763
Creator: Metastasio, Pietro, 1698-1782.

Ifigenia in Aulide

Description: This is a ca. 1762 copy of the libretto of "Ifigenia in Aulide," by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi, the principal librettist at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Cigna-Santi's libretto is an adaptation of Euripide's story of Ifigenia, the daughter of the king of Argos, Agamemnon. The goddess Diana decreed that Ifigenia had to be sacrificed in order to guarantee fair winds for the king's fleet on their journey to Troy. Achilles, rushed to save Ifigenia, his wedding bride, but Diana, moved by Ifigenia's obedience, spared her life before the priest killed her. Ferdinando Giuseppe Bertoni set this libretto to music for the 1762 carnival season in Turin. According to scholar George Hollis, the surviving arias of Ifigenia in Aulide are technically demanding and contain florid and lengthy passages in the tradition of opera seria. The library's copy of "Ifigenia in Aulide"is bound with the following librettos: "Catone in Utica," by Pietro Metastasio; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati; and "Le piacevoli poesie" by Gasparo Gozzi.
Date: 1762
Creator: Cigna-Santi, Vittorio Amedeo.