1694 · Bologna
First edition of this opera libretto in three acts, published on the occasion of its representation at the Teatro Malvezzi in Bologna. The composer, Giacomo Antonio Perti (1661-1756), is not mentioned. The author of the libretto is Domenico David. The drama had already been staged the previous year, in 1693, in the Teatro S. Giovanni Crisostomo at Venice with music by Carlo Francesco Pollaroli. On that occasion the libretto had been printed in Venice by Nicolini (12mo, with only an engraved frontispiece).
After the dedication, dated Bologna, May 23, 1694, there are the argument, the cast, the scenario, and the notice to the reader, which reads: "Eccoti ricomparire in Teatro la Forza della virtù. Se la troverai in parte mutata dal suo primo originale, resta accertato, che la sola necessità di portarla alle nostre scene, il desiderio di compiacere a' signori musici, & il genio di sodisfare a noi stessi, è stata la cagione di tale alterazione…".
The interpreters were: Domenico Cecchi (Fernando); Barbara Riccioni (Clotilde); Maria Maddalena Musi (Anagilda); Anna Signori (Elvira); Francesco Pistocchi (Rodrigo); Nicolo Paris (Alfonso); Giovanni Battista Franceschini (Sancio); and Pietro Antonio Fontana (Padiglio).
The edition is enriched with twelve superb plates, illustrating the different stage scenes, by Carlo Antonio Buffagnotti (1660-after 1715). Buffagnotti, a printmaker and painter from Bologna, had learned perspective and quadratura under Domenico Santi. In the 1680s he had produced print suites of architecture designed by Santi or of his own invention. An accomplished cellist, Buffagnotti also produced print sets of instrumental music. In 1694 and 1695 he etched two suites of prints of Chiarini's scenography, one for the present drama and one for the Nerone fatto Cesare, another opera staged in Bologna in 1695.
Marcantonio Chiarini (c. 1652-1730), an Italian painter born near Bologna, trained with Francesco Quaino and Domenico Santi. Active in Bologna and Milan, he mostly painted scenography for plays as well as quadratura.
Sartori, Libretti italiani a stampa, 10875; Gaspari, V, 396; Catalogo unico, IT\ICCU\UBO\2857259; Schatz, 7948; Frati, 8208. (Inventory #: 38)