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Admeto, re di Tessaglia (Admetus, King of Thessaly; HWV 22) is a three-act opera written for the Royal Academy of Music with music composed by George Frideric Handel to an Italian-language libretto prepared by Nicola Haym. The story is partly based on Euripides' Alcestis. The opera's first performance was at the Haymarket Theatre in London on 31 January 1727. The original cast included Faustina Bordoni as Alcestis and Francesca Cuzzoni as Antigona, as Admeto was the second of the five operas that Handel composed to feature specifically these two prime donne of the day.[1] The opera received 19 performances in its first season, and over the time from September 1727 to January 1732, received 16 additional performances. Admeto was revived in 1754 and received 5 additional performances. The last, 6 April 1754, proved to be the last opera performance that Handel saw of his own operas in his lifetime.[2]


Role Voice type Premiere cast[3]
31 January 1727
Alceste (Alcestis) soprano Faustina Bordoni
Antigona soprano Francesca Cuzzoni
Admeto (Admetus) alto castrato Francesco Bernardi ("Senesino")
Ercole (Heracles) bass Giuseppe Maria Boschi
Trasimede (Thrasymedes) alto castrato Antonio Baldi
Orindo contralto Anna Vincenza Dotti
Meraspe bass Giovanni Battista Palmerini
Apollo bass
A voice baritone




  1. ^ Dean, Winton, "Reports: Birmingham" (July 1968). The Musical Times, 109 (1505): pp. 651–656.
  2. ^ Smith, William C., "The 1754 Revival of Handel's Admeto" (April 1970). Music & Letters, 51 (2): pp. 141–149.
  3. ^ "Almanacco 31 January 1727" (in Italian). AmadeusOnline. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Nicholas, "Recordings: Admeto" (January 1981). Early Music, 9 (1): pp. 129–130.


  • Dean, Winton (2006). Handel's Operas, 1726–1741. Boydell Press. ISBN 1-84383-268-2.  The second of the two-volume definitive reference on the operas of Handel

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