Didone (opera)

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Didone is an opera by Francesco Cavalli, set to a libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello (later librettist for Claudio Monteverdi). The opera was first performed at Venice's Teatro San Cassiano during 1640.

The plot is based on Virgil's Aeneid (Book 4 in particular), though Busenello, in his second libretto for Cavalli, replaces Dido's tragic suicide of Virgil with a happy ending in which Dido marries Iarbas, King of the Getuli, who saves Dido from herself after Aeneas abandons her. The action is divided into a prologue and 3 acts.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 1640
(Conductor: - )
Enea tenor
Didone soprano
Iarbas contralto
Cassandra soprano
Anchise tenor
Ascanio soprano
Hecuba contralto
Creusa soprano
Anna soprano
Mercurio contralto
Sicheo tenor
Pirro tenor
Corebo contralto
Sinon Greco bass
Ambasciatore Ilionèo contralto
Acate tenor
Giove bass
Giunone soprano
Iride soprano
Venere soprano
Amore soprano
Nettuno bass
Eolo tenor
Fortuna soprano
Three court ladies sopranos


  • Live Video recording on DVD - 2006 - Teatro Malibran, Venice - Fabio Biondi, conductor - Orchestra Europa Galante
    Cast: Claron McFadden, Magnus Staveland, Jordi Domènech, Manuela Custer, Marina De Liso, Donatella Lombardi - Dynamic cat. 33537

See also[edit]



  • Rosand, Ellen (2001). "Didone". In Root, Deane L. (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Oxford University Press.

External links[edit]