Alessandro Severo

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Alessandro Severo (Alexander Severus, HWV A13) is an opera by George Frideric Handel composed in 1738. It is one of Handel's three pasticcio works,[1] made up of the music and arias of his previous operas Giustino, Berenice and Arminio. Only the overture and recitatives (as well as the words) were new. The impresario Johann Jacob Heidegger probably selected the 1717 libretto by Apostolo Zeno, originally written for Antonio Lotti and re-used by many composers thereafter.[2]

Performance history[edit]

Alessandro Severo was not a success at its premiere under the direction of the composer on 25 February 1738 at the King's Theatre, London.[3]


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 25 February 1738
Sallustia soprano Elisabeth Duparc, "La Francesina"
Claudio soprano Margherita Chimenti, "La Droghierina"
Giulia contralto Antonia Merighi
Eurilla mezzo-soprano Maria Antonia Marchesini, "La Lucchesina"
Alessandro mezzo-soprano castrato Caffarelli
Marziano bass Antonio Montagnana


The opera is based upon the story of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus.



  1. ^ Hicks, Anthony, "Handel With Care" (November 1993). The Musical Times, 134 (1809): pp. 639-642.
  2. ^ Essays on Handel and Italian Opera ed Reinhard Strohm p.76
  3. ^ Hume, Robert D., "Handel and Opera Management in London in the 1730s" (October 1986). Music & Letters, 67 (4): pp. 347-362.


  • Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Alessandro Severo, 25 February 1738". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  • 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