La Cleopatra

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La Cleopatra
Opera seria by Domenico Cimarosa
Domenico cimarosa.jpg
The composer
Librettist F. Moretti
Language Italian
Premiere 7 February 1789 (1789-02-07)
Theater Eremitage, Saint Petersburg

La Cleopatra (1789) is an opera seria in two acts by composer Domenico Cimarosa with an Italian libretto by F. Moretti.[1]

Historical background and musical analysis[edit]

La Cleopatra was commissioned by Empress Catherine II of Russia in 1788. Cimarosa and Moretti were instructed to keep the opera short and give it a relatively simple plot. As a result, the opera is about a hundred minutes in length which is short for an opera of that period and time. The plot is also very straightforward, lacking the typical plot twists and intrigues of other opera serias of the day. Musically the opera is made up of mostly arias with only a few duets, a quartet, a ballet, and a march. Although, music critics of the opera have admired the duet at the end of act one, the music written for the ballet, and the final quartet at the end, overall the opera is not that remarkable. The work premiered at the Theater Eremitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 27 September 1789.[2]


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, September 27, 1789
(Conductor: - )
Cleopatra coloratura soprano
Antonio castrato
Domizio tenor
Arsinoe baritone


  • La Cleopatra with conductor Franco Piva and the Orchestra e Coro Città di Adria. Cast includes: Luisa Giannini (Cleopatra), Patrizia Morandini (Antonio), Luca Favaron (Domizio), and Maria Pia Moriyòn (Arsinoe). Released in 1996 on Bongiovanni GB label.


  1. ^ La Cleopatra von Domenico Cimarosa
  2. ^ Opera Today : CIMAROSA: Cleopatra