Medea in Corinto

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Medea in Corinto (Medea in Corinth) is an opera in Italian by the composer Simon Mayr. It takes the form of a melodramma tragico in two acts. The libretto, by Felice Romani, is based on the Greek myth of Medea and the plays on the theme by Euripides and Pierre Corneille. The same subject had formed the basis for Luigi Cherubini's famous opera Médée (1797) which may have had an influence on Mayr's work. Medea in Corinto was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 28 November 1813 and was Mayr's greatest theatrical success.


Giuditta Pasta in Mayr's Medea in Corinth
Role Voice type Premiere Cast
Conductor: Nicola Festa
Medea soprano Isabella Colbran
Giasone tenor Andrea Nozzari
Creonte bass Michele Benedetti
Creusa soprano Teresa Luigia Pontiggia
Ismene soprano Joaquína García
Egeo tenor Manuel García
Evandro tenor Gaetano Chizzola
Tideo tenor Domenico Donzelli
Medea's son mime Maria Malibran


Act One[edit]

Jason (Giasone) has rejected his former wife, Medea, in favour of Creusa, daughter of King Creon (Creonte) of Corinth. Creon banishes Medea from the city and she swears revenge. Meanwhile, King Aegeus (Egeo) of Athens arrives in Corinth. He had been promised Creusa as his bride. Finding he has been rejected, he makes a pact with Medea. As Jason and Creusa are being married in the temple, Medea bursts in with Aegeus's soldiers and a fight breaks out as they attempt to carry off the bride and bridegroom.

Act Two[edit]

Creon's men have defeated and captured Medea and Aegeus. In prison, Medea uses her magic powers to summon up demons from the underworld. She kills Creusa with a poisoned robe then stabs her own - and Jason's - children to death, before making her escape in a chariot pulled by flying dragons. In despair, Jason attempts suicide in vain.