Flavio Crispo

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Flavio Crispo is a 1720 opera by Dresden kapellmeister Johann David Heinichen concerning Flavius Crispus, son of the Emperor Constantine I

The opera was never performed due to an incident where the star castrato singer Senesino tore up the music for one of his arias and cast it at the composer's feet. The incident was witnessed by Baron von Mordaxt, Protector of the King's Music who reported it to Friedrich August I, leading to the three Italian singers involved being dismissed and the opera cancelled. Senesino may have wanted to escape from the contract due to a more attractive offer from Handel, who the previous year had attempted to recruit the castrato to his company in London. Senesino was quickly hired by the Royal Academy of Music and spent the next 16 years in London. Heinichen never composed another opera for Dresden.[1][2][3][4]


  • Flavio Crispo Leandro Marziotte - as Flavio, Dana Marbach - as Elena, English princess at the court, Alessandra Visentin - Fausta, Silke Gäng - as Imilee, Nina Bernsteiner - Gilimero, Tobias Hunger - Massimianiano, Ismael Arronitz - Constantino, Il Gusto Barocco, Jörg Halubek CPO 2018


  1. ^ Janice B. Stockigt Jan Dismas Zelenka: A Bohemian Musician at the Court of Dresden 0198166222 2000 -"The offending aria came from Heinichen's opera Flavio Crispo, a work he would never see performed. This dismissal of the Italian singers achieved two objectives: Friedrich August I was able to bring the opera to an end, thereby alleviating great financial commitments..."
  2. ^ George J. Buelow A History of Baroque Music 2004 -0253343658 Page 474 "Heinichen contributed a new opera, Flavio Crispo, whose performance in 1720 was canceled by the Elector when he dismissed the entire Italian opera ensemble after learning that Berselli and Senesino had created an embarrassing scene created an embarrassing scene during rehearsal. Senesino accused the composer of ineptitude in setting the Italian text, tore up the music ..."
  3. ^ Samantha Owens, Barbara M. Reul, Janice B. Stockigt Music at German Courts, 1715-1760: Changing Artistic Priorities 2011 - 1843835983 "... the return to Venice of Lotti and various members of his company in the latter part of 1719, the remaining singers including the castratos Berselli and Senesino caused a major disruption to a rehearsal of Heinichen's opera Flavio Crispo."
  4. ^ Goldberg: Early Music Magazine - Volumes 47-49 - 2007 -Page 52 "Heinichen was also active in Dresden, where he composed both instrumental and sacred music; he wrote but a single opera, Flavio Crispo (1720) for the court of the Elector of Saxony. The score of the work, which was never staged, has survived."