Her father Alarico [Alaric] tenor , King of the Goths, has sworn vengeance on the emperor because he killed his son in battle. Alaric then embraces his newly found daughter and blesses the union of the lovers. The opera is innovatory for incorporating large choruses and dance: an antiphonal chorus serves as an introduction, a chorus with central solo section is used in Act 1, and a divertimento with dance and chorus opens Act 2. A conventional duet and a trio conclude each of the first two acts, but a dramatic cavatina The Caliph of Baghdad bass plans to marry the beautiful young slave-girl Adina soprano.
She, for reasons which are not immediately evident, is not unsympathetic to the Caliph but the reappearance of her one-time lover Selimo tenor puts her in a dilemma. To celebrate the birthday of the queen mother, Elisabeth Farnese, the Teatro S Bartolomeo staged a new work by Pergolesi, The libretto is much altered from the version, incorporating some elements from the original but giving the three Parthian characters — Osroa [Osroes], Emirena and Farnaspe [Pharnaspes] — greater prominence. Anfossi used a substantial amount of accompanied recitative and he wrote a trio for Emirena, Pharnaspes and Osroes to conclude Act 2.
Act 3, greatly shortened in accordance with the conventions of the period, ends with simple recitative. Osroes and Aquilio [Aquilius] whose role is cut substantially are written for tenors, while the four lovers are soprano roles. Apart from a few cavatinas, the arias retain the textual structure of da capo arias but are through-composed.
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