L'anima del filosofo
L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice (The Soul of the Philosopher, or Orpheus and Euridice), Hob. 28/13, is an opera in Italian in four acts by Joseph Haydn, the last he ever wrote. The libretto, by Carlo Francesco Badini, is based on the myth of Orpheus and Euridice as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Composed in 1791, the opera was never performed during Haydn's lifetime.
After his patron Prince Nikolaus Esterházy had died in 1790, Haydn travelled to London where he received a commission to write several symphonies. The impresario John Gallini also offered him a contract to write an opera for the King's Theatre but due to a dispute between King George III and the Prince of Wales he was refused permission to stage it. As a result, the score was never completed and some music appears to be missing.
Performance history 
L'anima del filosofo remained unperformed until 9 June 1951, when it appeared at the Teatro della Pergola, Florence, with a cast including Maria Callas and Boris Christoff, under the conductor Erich Kleiber.
It has been performed and recorded several times since then.
The opera makes extensive use of the chorus.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 9 May 1951
(Conductor: Erich Kleiber)
|First courtier||baritone||Gino Orlandini|
|Second courtier/Warrior||tenor||Gino Sarri|
|Third courtier||baritone||Lido Pettini|
|Fourth courtier||tenor||Camillo Righini|
The opera is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two cors anglais, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, harp, strings, continuo.
- Amadeus Almanac, accessed 25 August 2008
- The Viking Opera Guide ed. Holden (1993)