12 June 2009
LISBON 1755 -- METASTASIO, Pietro. La Clemenza di Tito, drama per musica da rappresentarsi Nell' Estate dell' Anno MDCCLV, sul gran teatro nuuovamente eretto alla Real Corte di Lisbona, per festiggiare il felicissimo giorno natalizio di Sua Maestà Fedelissima D. Giuseppe Primo. Lisbon: Stamperia Sylviana, 1755.
4o (192 x 135 mm). Engraved frontispiece by MANELLI and 7 (of 8) engraved folding plates by J.B. DOURNEAU after GIOVANNI CARLO GALLI-BIBIENA (lacking one engraved folding plate, dampstained throughout). Modern wrappers; cloth folding case.
As part of the festivities surrounding the birthday of JOSEPH I, King of Portugal, Metastasio's opera, with music by ANTONIO MAZZONI, was performed in Lisbon in 1755 at the order of the Queen of Portugal, Maria Anna Vittoria de Bourbon. As both the king and queen were devotées of the theatre and of opera, the city spared no expense in staging the play at the opera house in Lisbon, one of the most opulent theatres of its time in Europe, with well-known actors in the main roles, and with spectacular stage sets by GIOVANNI CARLO GALL-BIBIENA illustrated in the folding plates. After a short but glorious 7-month existence, the opera house was destroyed by the great Lisbon earthquake in November 1755. Sonneck I, 295-6.
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