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Lotti's 'Teofane' (1719) and Handel's 'Ottone' (1723): a textual and musical study.

Although it is well known that Haym's libretto for Handel's Ottone was adapted from Pallavicini's for Lotti's Teofane, the circumstances surrounding the choice of libretto and its adaptation and the possibility that Lotti's music might have influenced Handel's have not yet been fully investigated. The primary purpose of this article is to contribute to our knowledge of Handel's creative stimuli and of his attitudes and priorities concerning the reworking of earlier material. With two exceptions, all the librettos of Handel's operas are based on pre-existing librettos.(1) In adapting an earlier libretto, the librettist, in collaboration with the composer, would have considered the particular circumstances of performance, specifically the demands of the singers. But the question remains of why a particular libretto was selected. As Handel's creativity was often stimulated by an initial borrowing from his own or other composers' music, so he could be inspired by an existing text, sometimes several years after encountering it. He almost certainly attended a performance of Teofane in Dresden. Recently scholars have suggested possible social and political allusions in the subjects of librettos. The generally accepted views of why Teofane and Ottone would have been topical seem to be only part of the story.

The first, preliminary section of this article concentrates on the circumstances through which Handel would have had the opportunity to become acquainted with Teofane, while the second is concerned with the extent of historical accuracy in the librettos and the contemporary relevance of the operas. The third and fourth sections, which constitute the bulk of the article, describe Haym's adaptation of Pallavicini's libretto, analyse the effect of his changes on plot and characterization, and present a comparative study of Lotti's and Handel's music.


The performances of Teofane in Dresden's new opera house on 13, 21 and 27 September 1719 were the climax of the festivities (lasting from the 2nd to the 30th of the month)(2) to celebrate the marriage of Friedrich August, Crown Prince of Saxony and Poland, to Maria Josepha, Archduchess of Austria and daughter of the Emperor Joseph I. The actual ceremony had taken place on 20 August in Vienna. It was a marriage of considerable importance for the Dresden court and heralded an era of political and financial stability in Saxony after almost eighteen years of conflict with Sweden over the succession to the Polish throne." Such an occasion presented Friedrich August I, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, with the ultimate opportunity for displaying the power and wealth of his court. From the winter of 1718 until the arrival in Dresden of the recently married Friedrich August and Mafia Josepha on 2 September 1719, there were extensive preparations for the festivities. Since 1711 the renowned architect Daniel Poppelmann had been occupied with the construction of the Zwinger, which was to become a vast setting for cultural and sporting pursuits. Further developments included the conversion and decoration of the castle, palaces and gardens, and the erection of temporary buildings for the duration of the festivities, including gates of honour on the bridge over the river Elbe, platforms for spectators, open-air theatres, dance halls, structures for firework displays and an arena for animal fights.(4)

As a consequence of his travels in Italy during the years 1712-17, the crown prince developed a taste for the arts of that country, and it was at his instigation that Friedrich August I decided to establish an Italian opera company at the Dresden court. The prince's lengthy stay in Venice from February 1716 to July 1717 provided the best opportunity for carrying out the plans. Venice attracted many of the most outstanding Italian composers and singers of the day, among them Antonio Lotti, first organist at St Mark's since 1704, whom the prince during his visit engaged to be musical director of the Dresden opera.(5) Lotti was accompanied by his wife Santa Stella, a soprano of considerable repute, and also brought with him the librettist Antonio Mafia Lucchini and several musicians from the basilica? The singers in the company, hired initially for one year from autumn 1717, consisted of two sopranos (including Santa Stella Lotti), a contralto, the soprano castrati Francesco Bernardi ('Senesino') and Matteo Berselli, and the tenor Francesco Guicciardi. During 1718 they were joined by another soprano, an alto castrato and two basses, including Giuseppe Boschi.(7)

The elector, mindful of the theatrical productions that would play a part in the forthcoming marriage celebrations, had since 1717 entertained the idea of building an opera house. The existing comedy theatre was not large enough for the projected performances of Italian opera, and during the autumn of 1717 a temporary stage had been erected for the purpose in the ballroom of the castle.(8) On 9 September 1718 the foundation stone of the opera house was laid on the Zwinger. Poppelmann produced the designs and supervised the construction; the decoration was the responsibility of the progressive theatre architect and set designer Alessandro Mauro, whom the prince had hired in Venice. When completed just under a year later, on 25 August 1719, the theatre was one of the largest in Europe, with regard to the size of the stage and its seating capacity of 2,000.(9) Meanwhile, from April that year additional singers had been engaged in Italy, among them the soprano Margherita Durastanti and the contraltos Antonia Maria Laurenti ('la Coralli') and Vittoria Tesi. By now the company consisted of three each of sopranos and contraltos, a soprano castrato, an alto castrato, a tenor and two basses. Stefano Benedetto Pallavicini, court poet at Dresden from 1688 to 1695, arrived in June to replace Lucchini, who had been forced to flee a scandalous situation the previous year.(10)

The opening of the 'new' or 'large' opera house, as it came to be known, on 3 September 1719 was to have been marked by a performance of Lotti's Teofane, but the production had been delayed, so his Giove in Argo (first performed at Dresden in 1717) was substituted.(11) Lucchini's libretto, entitled 'melodramma pastorale', had no particular significance for the wedding celebrations.(12) Ascanio, ovvero Gli odi delusi dal sangue (1718), the second of Lotti's three Dresden operas and another collaboration with Lucchini, was revived on 7 September. The premiere of Teofane eventually took place on 13 September with the following cast:(13)

OTTONE: Senesino (alto castrato) TEOFANE: Santa Stella Lotti (soprano) EMIRENO: Giuseppe Boschi (bass) GISMONDA: Margherita Durastanti (soprano) ADELBERTO: Matteo Berselli (soprano castrato) MATILDA: Vittoria Tesi (contralto) ISAURO: Francesco Guicciardi (tenor)

Antonia Maria Coralli represented the supernatural beings, La Felicita, Una Naiade and La Germania, who feature in the allegorical finales at the end of each act. Pallavicini receives no mention in the libretto, but the set designer (Alessandro Mauro), the choreographer of the ballets for the allegorical finales (Charles Duparc) and the composer of the music for these (Jean Baptiste Volumier)(14) are credited together with Lotti. The ornate libretto provides the text in Italian and a free translation in French on facing pages.

The unifying theme of the entertainments was the influence of the gods and goddesses of the seven planets on the fate of human beings.(15) Festivals in honour of each deity, involving music, theatre, dance, hunting, fireworks and much else besides, were held in the palaces and gardens. For the festival of Jupiter, the occasion of the official opening of the Zwinger (15 September), Lotti composed the cantata 'Li quattro elementi', described as a 'carosello teatrale'. The serenades 'La gara degli dei' and 'Diana sull'Elba' by Johann David Heinichen (musical director of the court chapel) were performed at the festivals of the sun and of the goddess of the moon. Except in the festival of Mars, music played a prominent part during the festivals of the planets. Musical and dramatic entertainments on the remaining days of the festivities included repeat performances of the three operas and French and Italian comedies.(16)

It seems highly probable that Handel would have attended at least one of the performances of Teofane and brought back a copy of the libretto to London. On 14 May 1719 he had been issued with a warrant by the Duke of Newcastle, governor of London's recently formed opera company the Royal Academy of Music, that empowered him in his capacity as Master of Musick 'forthwith to repair to Italy Germany or such other Place or Places as you shall think proper, there to make Contracts with such Singer or Singers as you shall judge fit to perform on the English Stage'.(17) Accompanying instructions authorized him to sign contracts for one year only, except in the case of Senesino, whom he was to engage 'for as many Years as may be'. After engaging the soprano castrato Benedetto Baldassari in Dusseldorf and visiting his family in Halle, Handel's principal destination was Dresden.(18)

By 15 July (26 July, N. S.) he was reporting to the Ear of Burlington, one of the chief subscribers to the opera scheme, that he expected the engagements of Senesino, Berselli and Guicciardi to be concluded within a few days.(19) The negotiations proved to be unsuccessful: Senesino and Berselli extended their contracts at Dresden for another year from 1 October, and Guicciardi never appeared in London.(20) Handel presumably approached other singers, some of whom were subsequently hired by the Royal Academy, but only Durastanti arrived for the opening season in spring 1720. In the event, the elector disbanded his Italian opera company early in 1720, following the presumptuous behaviour of Senesino and Berselli at a rehearsal of Heinichen's new opera Flavio Crispo. The two castratos apparently accused Heinichen of an error in the text, whereupon Senesino tore up Berselli's part and threw it at the composer's feet.(21)

Of the singers dismissed from the Dresden court, Senesino, Berselli, Boschi and the soprano Maddalena Salvai arrived in London during September 1720 for the start of the second season of the Royal Academy.(22) By the time of the first performance of Ottone on 12 January 1723 at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket, the company included three singers who would have been familiar with their roles from having performed the same characters in Teofane. These were Senesino, Boschi and Durastanti, who took the parts of Ottone, Emireno and Gismonda respectively.


As is evident from the Argument printed before the text of Pallavicini's Teofane, which sets the scene for the drama, the foundation of the plot was historical, though with facts reinterpreted. (This Argument is intrinsically the same as that preceding the text of Haym's Ottone.(23)) There appears to be no surviving libretto that could have served as the model for Teofane,(24) although this does not of course exclude the possibility that Pallavicini was familiar with his subject from an existing dramatization. Nevertheless, he was obviously an educated and talented writer, remembered among other achievements for his highly regarded translations of Horace; and as one of the leading reformers of the opera libretto at the beginning of the eighteenth century he would have been concerned with historical truth.(25) Accordingly, it seems reasonable to assume that he was acquainted with the standard chronicles of tenth-century German, Italian and Greek history by such writers as Widukind of Corvey; Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona; Adalbert of St Maximin, Archbishop of Magdeburg; and Thietmar, Bishop of Merseburg.(26) An investigation into the extent of Pallavicini's historical accuracy is appropriate in the circumstances.

For his hero Ottone, Pallavicini drew inspiration from incidents in the lives of two historical characters: Otto I (the 'Great'), King of Germany from 936 to 973, crowned emperor at Rome in 962; and his son Otto II, elected as his successor in 961, crowned co-emperor in 967, and sole ruler from 973 to 983. In the year before his accession (972), a time of temporary truce between the eastern and western empires, Otto II married the Byzantine princess Theophanu. His father had been negotiating with Byzantium since 967, in the hope of gaining recognition for the German empire through a marriage alliance.(27) Theophanu was not actually the princess born in the purple as requested but was almost certainly the niece of John Tzimiskes, Armenian emperor of Byzantium from 969 to 976.(28) Pallavicini's character is the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Romanos II (959-63) and therefore sister to his son and eventual successor Basil II (976-1025), the Basilio of the Argument. The librettist's apparent artistic licence must, however, be viewed in the context of the continuing uncertainty over the historical Theophanu's origins and parentage.(29) Nevertheless, his interpretation of the circumstances surrounding the marriage between the two imperial houses is a deliberate conflation of characters and alteration to the chronology of events for the sake of the plot. He credits Otto II with obtaining Theophanu, his long-promised bride, as a consequence of the Greeks being forced into a peace agreement after he has won several victories against them and the Saracens over the possession of Italy. It was in fact Otto I who negotiated on his young son's behalf (as mentioned above) and whose campaigns resulted in the truce which divided land in southern Italy between the two empires.(30) Not until almost a decade after his marriage did Otto II pursue his own policy of extending his rule throughout southern Italy, against opposition from both Byzantine and Sicilian Muslim forces. Although the campaign was initially successful, his army was decisively defeated by an Arab assault in 982.(31)

In his version of events at Constantinople (capital of the Byzantine Empire) Pallavicini introduces even more confusion. The driving out of Basilio from the city by the tyrant Nicephoro presumably refers to the violent circumstances under which the army general Nikephoros II Phokas seized power following the death of Romanos in 963. Basil, the legitimate successor, was, however, only a young child and in any case retained his imperial rights on his mother's remarriage to the usurper.(32) The period of thirteen years until Basil reached the age to rule scarcely seems to count as the long exile mentioned in the Argument, and it is not clear from where the librettist derived the eventual recall of Basilio by Zemisces 'to have a part in the Empire'. During the final act of each opera (Teofane, III.6; Ottone, III.4) Teofane explains to the pirate Emireno, whom she does not yet realize is her brother Basilio, that her guardian Cimisco has ousted the usurper in Constantinople. While it is true that John Tzimiskes succeeded Nikephoros as emperor, Pallavicini appears to have reversed the roles of usurper and usurped, in view of the fact that Tzimiskes was responsible for the assassination of his rival in 969.(33)

Pallavicini prefaces as supposition in his Argument the scenario where Adelberto, son to the Italian tyrant Berengario, is incited by his mother (fictitiously called Gismonda) to cause Rome to rebel against the Germans, who soon, however, manage to recapture the city. This whole episode appears to have been inspired by the circumstances surrounding the second Italian campaign of Otto I during the years 961-4. The librettist is even careful to indicate that he has attributed to Otto II the actions of his father. Having initially been summoned by Pope John XII in 959 to free the papacy from the tyranny of Berengar, King of Italy since 950, Otto was subsequently forced to deal with the Pope, who had now allied with Berengar's son Adalbert. John XII was deposed by a Roman synod, and a candidate of whom Otto approved, Leo VIII, was elected as his replacement, but the position of the new pope was precarious. A rebellion inspired by John led to Leo's expulsion from Rome and after John's death the Romans elected their own pope, Benedict V. Otto, however, succeeded in exiling Benedict and establishing his own candidate, thereby demonstrating his military invincibility in Rome.(34) The defeat of Adelberto in Rome at the hands of Ottone forms the climax of the first act in each opera (Teofane, 1.13; Ottone, I.11) and the previous demise of his father Berengario is alluded to earlier in the same act (Teofane, I.12; Ottone, 1.9). Although the latter plays no part in either opera, Gismonda's manipulation of Adelberto could perhaps be considered as representative of the parental influence of Berengar over his son Adalbert. Of the principal characters, only Matilda, Ottone's cousin, appears not to have a historical precedent, although Otto II did actually have a cousin named Mathilda.(35)

As mentioned above, each act of Teofane has an allegorical finale featuring supernatural persons in the context of spectacular settings and decorative ballets. These finales would have been appropriate for the grandiose circumstances surrounding the performances of the opera, and, moreover, the allegory had direct relevance in Dresden. At the end of the first act La Felicita descends from the skies in the company of a chorus representing the days of the golden age. She explains to the mortals that she has been sent by Jupiter to bring back this age and to repair the damage suffered in her absence (a reference to the recent conflicts of the Saxons with the Swedes over the Polish throne). The second act ends with the sudden illumination of a garden along the banks of the Tiber and the appearance of 'una Naiade', together with river gods and a chorus of nymphs, from a palace which rises out of the waters. She exhorts her companions to reveal by dancing their capacity for love, despite the coldness of the watery depths, and addressing the river as their father, proclaims that his waters will be lit by the radiance of the famous beauty (Teofane), whose prince (Ottone) has eyes for none but her. These allusions to the royal wedding and ensuing celebrations reach a climax at the end of the third act, with the transformation of the stage into the Temple of Hymen. Here, surrounded by gods, La Germania invites the shades of Ottone and Teofane to envy the royal couple and requests Juno to grant them a fruitful marriage, from which a succession of heroes will be born to make Germany renowned throughout the world. A chorus of gods asserts that all would regard such a marriage favourably, La Germania sings an aria in praise of the flame that has ignited the two hearts, and, finally, the chorus repeats her sentiment.

Pallavicini did not merely add these finales as a supplement to each act; rather, he integrated them into the plot. Towards the end of the first act Ottone orders that his return from victory over Adelberto in Rome should be celebrated by the same feast with which the rebel had insultingly planned to mark his own expected triumph (I.14: 'La Festa destinata . . .'). He commands the second celebration to be held in a garden overlooking the Tiber as his welcome to Teofane and also to assure her that she should no longer doubt his fidelity (II.6: 'Notturna Festa . . .'). Matilda and Gismonda, who have planned Adelberto's escape, rejoice that the darkness of the night and the noise of the festivities will provide an effective diversion (II.14: 'che per superba Festa . . .' and 'Anzi il tumulto . . .'). The third celebration is of course held in honour of the marriage of Ottone and Teofane.

Pallavicini's choice of subject in Teofane was obviously appropriate for the celebration of a royal marriage, but there were also more subtle reasons why the opera would have been topical. The Dresden audiences would have been aware of the common Saxon ancestry which linked their elector and crown prince with the hero of the opera. They would have observed a connection between Ottone's military subjugation of his opponents in Rome and Friedrich August I's conquest of the Polish throne. Furthermore, they would have been expected to appreciate the political shrewdness of the royal marriage between the Saxon and Habsburg dynasties as exemplified by the similar union of the Saxons and Byzantines almost 750 years previously.

Furthermore, it seems highly probable that Pallavicini's choice of subject was influenced by contemporary interest in the marriage charter of Otto II and Theophanu. The charter had been brought to public attention in 1707 and again in 1714 by Johann Georg Leuckfeld,(36) who was previously in the service of the abbess of the monastery of Gandersheim, where the charter had remained undiscovered since the tenth century.(37) Gottfried Wilhelm yon Leibniz, who visited Gandersheim in 1707, described the charter and reproduced its inscription in his history of the House of Brunswick-Luneburg,(38) the relevant volume of which he had completed by the end of 1715. Pallavicini would possibly have read or at least have known of the works of Leibniz and, perhaps, Leuckfeld.

For London audiences at performances of Ottone, there would have been no contemporary parallel with the marriage of Ottone and Teofane and obviously none of the allusions pertinent to the Saxons. Even so, scholars have discovered insights. Konrad Sasse has drawn attention to two substantial reasons why the work would have been meaningful in London.(39) He perceives the unpopularity of George I in England, on account of his German ancestry, to be comparable with Ottone's situation in Italy. His other hypothesis concerns the underlying political importance of the Pope as a supporter of Ottone's enemy Adelberto. Even though this allegiance is not manifest in the opera, Adelberto's posing as Ottone in order to win Teofane's hand and share her crown could have reminded audiences of the distant threat of a Catholic pretender to the English throne. Reinhard Strohm has commented that the Guelph dynasty (George I was a member of the Hanoverian branch) had almost greater justification in considering themselves heirs of the Saxon emperors than the Wettin elector in Dresden.(40)

More intriguingly, the extent of the contemporary interest in the marriage charter of Otto II and Theophanu is reflected by the fact that George I instigated its loan to Hanover for several months during 1716 and 1717.(41) It seems highly possible that he mentioned it or showed it to Handel and, consequently, that the royal marriage was suggested as a suitable subject for an opera.(42)


Before embarking upon a comparative study of the music of Teofane and Ottone, it is essential to examine in detail the changes Haym made to the original text. Only with precise knowledge of the effects of these changes on the drama and characterization of the source libretto is it possible to appreciate Handel's different starting-point. Ottone is one of a small number of Handel operas to have been compared with a setting of the same libretto by another composer. Charlotte Spitz confined her discussion of the textual differences to a few general observations. The account by Winton Dean and John Merrill Knapp covers the significant textual differences, but these are not explained or illustrated in detail.(43) It is the aim of the present study to investigate fully the consequences of Haym's changes, with specific reference to plot and portrayal of character. First, it is necessary to consider the contemporary restrictions upon librettists. The usual practice of Handel and his theatre poets when adapting an existing libretto was to reduce it drastically in length. This primarily affected the recitative. The interest of London audiences lay in the singers and their arias, and, equally, it was in arias that Handel was able to convey emotional states and to develop characters. The composer and his librettists were also acquiescing in the demands of the singers, who desired every opportunity to display their technical accomplishments. In any case, much of the recitative would have been incomprehensible to London audiences.(44) (The provision of an English translation beside the Italian text in the librettos would not have been a sufficient substitute - even though the house lights were left on - for being able simultaneously to understand the language, to watch the action on stage and to listen to the music.)

In defining the extent of Haym's changes to the original text, distinctions have to be drawn between the relationship of the two librettos at several different stages in the composition of Ottone. Between completion of the first draft and performance, Haym and Handel carried out extensive revision, rejection and substitution of both text and music, mostly affecting the arias. Additional substantial alterations preceded the benefit performance during the first run and also the 1726 and 1733 London revivals.(45) It is interesting to observe here that two of the three productions in Germany during the 1720s - those at Brunswick in 1723 and 1725 - were based on Handel's score for his first performance but also incorporated arias from Teofane.

On a large scale, Haym's initial adaptation and compression of Pallavicini's libretto involved the exclusion of a character, the cutting, substitution and conflation of scenes and the reorganization of material. Within this framework he shifted set pieces, modified their texts and carried out all sorts of smaller alterations to the texts of both recitative and aria. The reduction of almost 1,080 lines to under 700 indicates the severity of his handling of the recitative. Altogether Handel set eighteen arias and two duets, three of the arias twice, out of the total of 35 arias and three duets in Teofane. Of these twenty texts, four were discarded before the first performance and one was not used until the 1726 revival. Haym supplied him with ten original texts before composition, three of which were discarded, and another seven before performance. Therefore, at this stage in the composition history of Ottone the difference in the total number of set pieces between the two operas was nine. Thus, while the recitative had been reduced to about two-thirds of its length in Teofane, the number of set pieces had been reduced only to about three-quarters. Subsequently Handel decided to reinstate for revivals two of Pallavicini's texts (one of them reset) which had formed part of his first draft of Ottone but which were discarded before performance. Haym removed the allegorical finales at the end of each act in Teofane, undoubtedly because their significance would not have been appreciated by a London audience. (Their direct relevance in Dresden has been discussed on page 355, above.) Naturally, all the prior references to these finales in the text of Teofane (see pp. 355-6, above) were also removed.

Isauro, Teofane's escort from the Byzantine court, was excluded probably because there was no suitable singer in the Royal Academy. Senesino and Berenstadt, the two castratos in the company, took the parts of Ottone and Adelberto respectively; Boschi, the only other permanent male singer in the company at the time, retained his Dresden role of Emireno. Apart from the omission of the one character, Haym maintained a similar balance in the distribution of set pieces. Ottone lost two arias and a duet from a total of ten pieces, Teofane an aria and a duet from her eight pieces, Gismonda an aria from her seven pieces and Adelberto two of his six arias. Emireno's share remained the same at three pieces, but Matilda gained an aria to add to her three arias and a duet.

Probably the most consistent and certainly the most effective of Haym's large-scale changes to the libretto of Teofane was to remove all except one of the several arias in the middle of scenes; the one retained, 'Falsa immagine' (I.3), was moved to the end of the scene. The most important reason for this sweeping revision was Handel's preference for exit arias, which ensured that the emotional climax was reserved for the end of each scene. He was perhaps also bowing to singers' expectations of applause after their arias, and this would have caused less interruption at the end of a scene than in the middle. Another perceptive improvement upon Pallavicini's libretto, presumably at Handel's instigation, was to arrest the attention of the audience immediately at the beginning of the first and third acts in Ottone with the cavatinas 'Pur che regni' and 'Dove sei?'. Significantly, these are the only such arias in the opera. Their placing must reflect a conscious decision to avoid holding up the action unnecessarily at the start of an act. Conversely, the corresponding acts in Teofane open conventionally with secco recitative and a da capo aria respectively.

In two significant respects Haym's adaptation fails to attain the standard of Pallavicini's original. First, the plot, hardly simple or indeed convincing to begin with, becomes even more confusing, and, second, the motives for the behaviour of the different characters become less clearly defined. The excision of much explanatory material from the recitatives was largely to blame for these flaws. The suppression of the small role of Isauro was actually a serious loss. His importance was twofold, since he provided some of the explanations necessary to an understanding of the plot and also intensified some of the conflicts between the protagonists. Charlotte Spitz was of the opinion that Haym conflated or cut sections of the source libretto if the unity of the whole demanded greater cohesion and where the original text was long-winded.(46) This is an over-simplified and not entirely accurate view of Haym's methods.

The problems caused by Haym's changes are most acute in the third act, particularly in his forced happy ending.(47) The love duet 'A' teneri affetti', sung by Ottone and Teofane when they are finally united, comes right at the end of the scene in Pallavicini (III.121), but almost at the beginning in Haym (III.ult.), before the various unresolved threads of the plot have been drawn together. When Teofane explains unexpectedly that Emireno is in fact her exiled brother Basilio, Pallavicini provides supporting evidence from Isauro, who reveals that he had previously recognized Emireno from the similarity to his father Romanus. Following the reconciliation between Ottone and Emireno, Teofane begs Ottone to forgive his enemies now that she has relinquished her jealousy of Matilda, observing that it was no worse anyway than his of Adelberto. Haym cut her request, leaving only Ottone's cryptic comment that everyone should feel indebted to Teofane for being pardoned by him. Pallavicini's Gismonda accepts the pardon as a mark of overwhelming generosity in view of her previous hatred towards her enemies. Although this is not altogether convincing as a motive, Haym's character is not supplied with any.

By the end of each opera, Matilda's acceptance of Adelberto as her husband certainly appears capricious when considered in the wider context of earlier events. This is her second complete change of heart within less than an act. Their final reconciliation is brought about by his remorse in the penultimate scene, and she is then confirmed in her intentions towards him by the general mood of forgiveness and celebration. He has no option but to abandon his former way of life out of gratitude to her for saving his life. Much of the motivation behind Matilda's previous dramatic about-turn in her relations with Adelberto is lost through Haym's severe cuts. Pallavicini's Matilda vindictively dismisses Gismonda's congratulations for her part in managing Adelberto's escape by announcing that she now desires to recapture and kill him (III.9). This unexpected outburst has been prompted by her discovery that Adelberto was responsible for abducting Teofane: his behaviour makes a mockery of the love that inspired her to rescue him from imprisonment by Ottone. Her feelings have been intensified by indebtedness to her cousin Ottone and by the overwhelming opposition on all sides to Adelberto's treachery. At the end of the scene, her response to Gismonda's pride at the abduction is to relish the prospect of bathing in Adelberto's blood in order to satisfy her resentment ('Nel suo sangue'). Now the scene is set for Matilda's penitence after her betrayal by Gismonda to Ottone (III.10). An added aspect of the situation here is Ottone's suspicion that the betrayal might be an attempt by Gismonda to divert attention from herself and to play for time, presumably so that Adelberto can disappear surreptitiously. Haym fused these two scenes into one (III.7), in which only the barest outline of the original remains. Events proceed too rapidly for motives to be clear, and the impact of Matilda's aria, in a different context and with altered text, is weakened. Penitent before Ottone, she intends bathing in Adelberto's blood not to satisfy her resentment but meekly to wash the guilt from her heart.

Earlier in the same act, Haym's reorganization of the scene where Emireno discovers Teofane's identity (III.4) further complicates a situation that Pallavicini had at least contrived to make convincing (III.6). In both librettos Emireno becomes aware of his relationship to Teofane before she is enlightened, and as a consequence she misinterprets his attempt to embrace her. But Haym's cuts reduce the original to the extent that the dialogue is inconsequential and the outcome illogical. Towards the end of this scene, each character appears to be involved in a separate conversation: Teofane bemoans her fate at having fallen into the clutches of a pirate, while Emireno delights that his captive is so noble a prey and rushes to embrace her, with no explanation whatsoever. None is forthcoming by the end of the next scene when he assures her that she has nothing to fear ('No, non temere'). (The simile aria 'Qual cervetta', which Handel originally set, afforded Teofane no more insight into her situation.) Although Emireno does not reveal his identity in Pallavicini's original, the two characters conduct a logical conversation leading inevitably to his attempt to embrace her. When Emireno delights at having pursued such a noble prey, Teofane begs him to protect her from Adelberto and to restore her to her guardian Cimisco, if not to Ottone. He expects to be able to bring her happiness ('Piu non dir'), which causes her to consider that he might not be completely cruel, and he then offers to embrace her as a pledge of his promise. Haym and Handel were to eliminate the ambiguity of their pre- and first-performance versions, and indeed to improve upon Pallavicini's original by the time of the benefit performance (26 March 1723). Emireno's aria 'No, non temere' was moved to form part of the new scene III.7, where it followed his own revelation to Teofane of their relationship in the recitative 'Deh! ti trattiene'.

It is time now to assess the importance of Isauro to the drama in Teofane, and then to concentrate on each character significantly affected by Haym's changes. Isauro adds an extra dimension to the plot through his exacerbation of the frictions that arise between Ottone and Teofane over their suspected relationships with Matilda and Adelberto. He has long concealed his love for Teofane and abuses his position of trust as her escort from her father's court by distorting and withholding information in his dealings with both her and Ottone. In particular, he attempts to dissuade her from her marriage by encouraging her aversion to the man they both believe to be Ottone (in fact it is Adelberto). To the same purpose, he inflames her jealousy when she misconstrues the real Ottone's innocent dealings with his cousin Matilda. At a fundamental level, his presence contributes on several occasions to an understanding of events which become abstruse in Haym's adaptation. Charlotte Spitz, however, clearly regarded Haym's exclusion of Isauro as an improvement by stating categorically that the love declarations of a third suitor to Teofane hold up the action unnecessarily.(48)

Isauro first comes on the scene when Teofane is in a vulnerable state, having just been confused and dismayed by the reigned Ottone (1.4). She decides that, in view of the fact that Isauro has been entrusted with her care, there can be no harm in confiding to him her terrible aversion to the reigned Ottone. But he slyly takes advantage of her predicament by presenting her with the seemingly honourable proposition that her father would not have wished upon her an unhappy marriage, and he appears to rise to her defence by declaring indignantly that he will not be the mediator in exposing her to so intolerable a situation. He has laid the foundations for his next suggestion, that she considers not going ahead with the marriage, and he alludes to his own feelings for her by offering to do whatever she wishes. When Teofane has departed, his genuine motives are revealed (I.5). He delights in the effect his rival has wrought and determines to nurture her feelings of antipathy. Haym omitted both these scenes. Isauro makes his next appearance (I.10) shortly before Adelberto is about to lead Teofane to the altar (I.11). Again he attempts to dissuade Teofane from marriage with the man he assumes is Ottone, and seizes upon her uneasiness in the presence of Gismonda, who has been posing as Ottone's mother Adelaide, to strengthen his argument. He protests at Teofane's choice of him as her (literal) support as they prepare to approach the altar, and again he alludes to his feelings, reproaching her for the pain she will be causing him. These two scenes are conflated in Ottone (I.8) by the omission of a substantial amount of dialogue involving Isauro.

During the second act, Isauro is offered an alternative angle of approach in his manipulation of Teofane when Ottone informs him of her jealousy, aroused by misinterpreting the innocuous embrace of the cousins (II.6). (Ottone raises the subject because in the previous scene, when he challenged Teofane about her relationship with Adelberto, she told him to ask Isauro to describe the repugnance with which she consented.) The unsuspecting Ottone pleads with Isauro to exert his influence over Teofane to persuade her of his undying faithfulness. Haym cut all except the opening of this scene, leaving Ottone to meditate alone on the origin of Teofane's jealousy (II.7). His reaction, however, is no criticism of his beloved; rather, he finds her jealousy endearing and elaborates his meaning in the simile aria 'Dopo l'orrore', in which the blossoming of love after a troubled period is likened to the enhanced beauty of the sun when it emerges from a cloudy sky. The meeting with Isauro interrupts Ottone's reflections on jealous love, and Pallavicini's 'Di lago o fonte' - here the comparison is with the effect of a light wind on the surface of a pond - does not achieve the immediate relevance of Haym's aria text. Isauro again betrays his real intentions in the following soliloquy (II.7), and the juxtaposition of scenes recalls his first meeting with Teofane. Once more he considers his chances in the light of recent information and decides on a course of action. This time it is to foment Teofane's jealousy - if not to the extent of ruining the marriage, at least to make Ottone miserable. In another scene with no counterpart in Haym (II.10), Isauro confronts Teofane with his knowledge of her jealousy. Nevertheless, aware that she remains faithful to Ottone, he attempts to sully his rival's character by remarking on the irrationality of choosing a faithless man in preference to Adelberto, who is at least in love with her. When she reveals her dilemma of hating the man in love with her, but loving the betrayer of her love, he takes a highhanded attitude, implying that there is nothing he can do for her. He continues his pretence of being affronted when she requests him to delude her that Ottone is faithful. Significantly, the part of their conversation on the subject of Teofane's jealousy is overheard by Adelberto, whose own hopes are raised. Isauro's treachery is at its most barefaced when he accompanies Teofane to the grotto (II.11). Here he uses as a pretext the royal decorum expected of her, in order to prevent her attracting attention to her presence after she has overheard and misunderstood a conversation between Matilda and Ottone.

Isauro's final appearance in this part of the drama has ramifications for the early stages of the last act. Having been entangled in the abduction of Teofane by Adelberto and Emireno (II.12), he is able to explain to Ottone who was responsible (III.3). Haym's solution involved Ottone's resigned assumption that Adelberto had abducted Teofane when escaping himself (III.2). By this stage of Pallavicini's drama, Ottone is inclined to suspect Isauro of deception and he reveals his misgivings about the minister from Greece in the opening scene of the act. Now in an advantageous position, he is able to trap Isauro into betraying what has happened to Teofane, knowing that her escort will be only too anxious to clear his own name. Isauro finally admits defeat in the soliloquy following his confrontation with Ottone (III.4). He empathizes with his rival's loss, realizing that he himself has also lost Teofane, whether or not Adelberto returns with her. He sums up his paradox, lamenting not only that he could not live without her but also that he could not bear her to return and bring happiness to another ('Non vivro').

The character of Pallavicini's Teofane is altogether more convincing because of her confrontations with Isauro. His tactic is to encourage her to a state of mind in which she will be disposed to succumb to the temptation of abandoning her marriage. Under this pressure, her conflict between duty and inclination weighs more heavily upon her than in Haym's libretto, where the alternative is not persuasively and persistently presented to her. To Isauro's suggestion that her father would not have sent her to Rome to be unhappy, Teofane replies that she was sent to establish peace between Greece and Germany and not to raise an eternal war between her duty and inclination (I.4). Haym shifted her retort from this appropriate position to form part of the monologue in which she is confused and dismayed by the reigned Ottone (I.3). He cut the conclusion of the corresponding scene in Pallavicini, where Teofane is torn between respecting the obligations imposed by her rank and surrendering to her abhorrence of the man she assumes to be her future husband. In Pallavicini's scene between Teofane and Gismonda posing as Ottone's mother Adelaide (I.9), Gismonda's retort to the comment that she is forgiving of her enemies (Gismonda and Adelberto) is to question not only Teofane's alliance in the conflict that has long existed between Greece and Germany but also her love for the name of a prince who from the outset was so odious to her. Teofane refuses to be daunted, and in her reply she accepts the necessity of sacrificing herself in the interest of peace. In Haym's version (1.7) this section of the dialogue is omitted. Teofane reiterates her convictions in the following scene with Isauro (I.10), but, faced with temptation again, she agonizes over her predicament. To his bait that there is still time to renege on the union she reminds him of her duty, even if this involves suppressing her true feelings in the process. Despite her sensation of physical weakness, she is increasingly assertive with him as he attempts to prevent the ceremony (I.11). During the second act, by which time Adelberto's deception has been exposed, she is faced with the problem of having to convince Ottone that she consented to marriage with his rival only out of a sense of duty. When Ottone reproaches her for having encouraged Adelberto, she retaliates that it was the feigned name of Ottone alone which incited her to accept Adelberto (11.5).

Haym did, however, supply Teofane with two emotional scenes in which she privately reveals her distress. After Adelberto has abandoned her at the altar to take part in the battle at Rome, there is a brief interlude (I.10) before the scene of Ottone's victory over his rival. Alone, Teofane surrenders to her doubts about Adelberto's identity and fears for the future ('Affanni del pensier'). After Ottone has dismissed his worries about her jealousy, she wanders in the evocative setting of a darkened garden with fountains and grottoes (II.8), seeking solace in her surroundings and praying to the god of love for pity ('S'or mi dai pene'). By adding these scenes to contrast Teofane's helplessness with Ottone's ignorance of her predicament, Haym emphasizes a fragility less evident in Pallavicini's character.

The consequences of Haym's changes to Ottone's part were much more damaging. A shadow remains of the heroic leader of Pallavicini's libretto, but even this is suppressed by his self-centred predisposition to languish over his thwarted love affair. This undesirable element in his character is especially to be observed in three of Haym's replacement aria texts. When his cousin Matilda informs him of Gismonda's seizure of Rome, he immediately indulges in his sorrow at the separation from Teofane in the aria 'Ritorna, o dolce amore' (I.5). Haym had initially incorporated Pallavicini's text 'Io sperai trovar riposo' (I.7), in which Ottone at least considered how his duty conflicted with his desire to be united with Teofane. But this more suitable text was presumably rejected in favour of one that would provide Senesino with an opportunity to display his talent for performing slow and pathetic arias. That Haym and Handel recognized this compromise is reflected in their subsequent resetting of Pallavicini's text for the 1726 revival. Similarly, Pallavicini had provided Ottone with an opportunity in the aria 'Non a tempre' (III.3) to show defiance on hearing of Adelberto's escape, but Haym permitted him to dwell on his sorrows in 'Tanti affanni' (III.2), without any consideration of confronting his rival. Again Haym and Handel had rejected their initial setting of Pallavicini's text. However, by the time of the 1726 revival Ottone was torn between grief and rage in the spirited aria 'Un disprezzato affetto'. His oscillation between these conflicting emotions is prominent in Pallavicini's opening scene of the act, particularly in the aria 'Discordi pensieri', whereas Haym's character merely laments his loss of Teofane in the cavatina 'Dove sei?'. The 'extra' character (Isauro) of Pallavicini's libretto contributes to the more convincing portrayal of the hero at this point in the drama. Harbouring suspicions and anxious to extort the truth from Isauro, Ottone is provoked to display both determination and annoyance at being duped.

Haym's excision of several passages of recitative detracted from Pallavicini's portrayal of the heroic leader. He cut Ottone's opening speech (I.6), where he anticipates the pleasure with which Teofane will receive him as a conqueror. He also cut the section of the same scene where Ottone pardons Emireno for what he considers to be cheek, on account of the pirate's great gallantry in defeat, and observes that this makes his own achievements appear increasingly impressive. When Matilda begs Ottone to spare Adelberto's life, his pride is conspicuous in Pallavicini's original (II.4) by comparison with Haym's version (II.5). Ottone details Adelberto's crimes, and warns his cousin that he would rather reward her bravery with a man worthier of his own heroic blood. There are a few short but significant examples of Ottone's mettle which Haym dispensed with. He taunts, Matilda with the image of Adelberto on the cutting edge of German swords (I.7), and on capturing him mockingly claims that his death would defile the swords of the German soldiers and should be reserved for the executioner (I.13).

Gismonda also comes across as only a shadow of the domineering character in Pallavicini's libretto. After she has successfully persuaded Adelberto to dissemble as Ottone (I.1) Haym permits her to rejoice at the imminent fulfilment of her hopes ('La speranza'); Pallavicini demands that she renounce love for the pursuit of vengeance ('Faccia un volto'). When Matilda has consulted her about begging Ottone to spare Adelberto's life (II.3), Haym supplies her with a soliloquy (II.4) during which she is overwhelmed by her maternal instincts ('Vieni, o figlio'); Pallavicini concludes their meeting with her fierce criticism of Matilda's weakness ('Da un molle amore'). Once Adelberto has managed to escape, almost at the end of the act (II.13), Gismonda pleads that, if his death is inevitable, Ottone should not have the honour of causing it. Haym cut most of this scene and combined what remained with the next (II.12). As with Ottone, the motives governing Gismonda's actions are mollified by omissions in the recitatives. Haym cut several interjections illustrating her ambition. In Pallavicini's opening scene, she reminds Adelberto not to be absorbed in his love to the extent of neglecting the immediate concern of the crown. On Ottone's entry into Rome, she appeals for her followers to be animated and to have their vacillating faith invigorated (I.12). When confronting Ottone with the news of Adelberto's escape and expecting death from him for her treachery, her reason for this desire is impatience to join the persecuting Furies (III.2). She is more vindictive in her longer catalogue of Matilda's crimes to Ottone (III.10). As Adelberto faces death (III.11) she stands in his way, not to protect him but to receive the blows herself, and welcomes arrows that will achieve equal cruelty and glory when directed at her ('Qua drizzate').

Of the other three characters, only Matilda is seriously affected by Haym's omissions and modifications. Her vindictiveness when she has been maligned is conspicuous in Teofane. She seeks vengeance on Adelberto after he has seized Rome from her cousin Ottone, swearing to see him at her feet begging for mercy (I.8). Instead of merely challenging Adelberto with concealing the image of her rival in his heart, she considers piercing his heart herself (II.1). Later in the scene, she protests at his daring to call himself her intended husband. When Gismonda declares that she would sooner her son die rather than that she or Matilda should stoop to begging Ottone to spare his life, Matilda's reaction is to denounce Gismonda as inhuman and to question why Adelberto has to be the victim of such pride (II.4). At this stage in the first draft of Ottone, she much more mildly persuaded Gismonda to show some compassion in the aria 'Pensa, spietata madre'. However, Haym and Handel decided before the first performance to portray her pity for Adelberto in an aria of intense pathos, 'Ah! tu non sai'.

Comparison of the librettos has revealed that Haym's changes resulted in a few improvements, but in general that they were detrimental to both the dramatic cogency and the motivation of the characters. At several stages in the drama an individual is portrayed in a manner inconsistent with his or her previous behaviour. However, it is important to bear in mind that the undermining of Ottone's heroic status and Matilda's unpredictable swings of affiliation (to name prominent examples) are a different matter from the revelation of previously hidden facets of character. Haym's Gismonda may appear to be a diluted version of the original domineering individual, but at the same time she possesses qualities that make her more humane. There is some truth in Charlotte Spitz's observation that Haym's characters are more three-dimensional(49) (regardless of the sometimes detrimental effect that this might have on dramatic plausibility). It is a pity, however, that she did not draw her conclusions from the most compelling evidence. It cannot be denied that some of Haym's cuts prevented the overemphasis on certain aspects of an individual's nature. Surely the more significant indication was his substitution or even adding of aria texts which portrayed alternative emotions to those depicted by Pallavicini. A fuller picture can only be gained by investigating the contribution of the two composers.


This comparative study begins with evidence of the influence of Lotti's music(50) on Handel, but then seeks to illuminate the significant differences between the music of the two operas, with specific reference to portrayal of character. Characterization was predominantly conveyed by the set pieces, and here Handel had the opportunity to redeem some of the flaws of the libretto. The development of the plot can be disregarded, since this was the function of the recitative. Neither Charlotte Spitz(51) nor Winton Dean and John Merrill Knapp(52) suggested that Handel actually borrowed Lotti's music.(53) Both concentrated on the dissimilarities in general musical style. Comparison of the two composers' interpretations of the same texts, although to a certain extent subjective, must reveal insights into their individual methods of working. If Handel set a text by Haym instead of one by Pallavicini at a particular point in the drama, then it can reasonably be accepted that his music will reflect any contrast in the mood of the texts. This is a justifiable assumption, considering that he usually surpassed his contemporaries in musical inventiveness and originality at depicting the emotion and meaning of words. However, study of Handel's settings of Haym's texts could indicate that the aims of composer and librettist were not necessarily in alignment. Such a situation might arise if the composer were attempting to transcend the limitations of the libretto.(54)

Assuming (as is extremely probable) that Handel did hear one of the performances of Teofane in Dresden during September 1719, it is indisputable that he would have been interested not only in the singers whom he had come to engage, and in the libretto, of which he undoubtedly kept a copy, but also in Lotti's music. His inclusion of two of Boschi's arias from Teofane in the pasticcio Elpidia (1725), where they were again performed by Boschi,(55) raises the possibility that Handel owned a score. If he did, it is most likely that he would have acquired it during his stay in Dresden in 1719, but equally he could have obtained the two arias from Boschi himself in 1725. Whether or not he actually owned a score of Teofane in 1722-3, he surely would have retained a general impression of the opera. Indeed, there is internal evidence to suggest not only this but also that he remembered certain features of Lotti's music - even some specific fragments of it. These are more than mere stereotypical coincidences of mood, key and tempo, of which there are several examples.

Tangible connections between two settings of the same text are evident in the duet 'A' teneri affetti' for Teofane and Ottone (Lotti, III.12; Handel, III.ult.), Gismonda's aria 'Trema tiranno' (Lotti, III.2; Handel, III.1) and Ottone's aria 'Cervo altier' (Lotti, 1.6; Handel, 1.5).(56) In the first of these examples, 'A' teneri affetti' (see Ex. 1; also Appendix IV.11 and HG 118), the resemblance extends beyond the key to a pervasive syncopated rhythm of crotchets and quavers in both vocal and instrumental parts. Incidentally, Teofane's entry in Lotti's setting of 'A' teneri affetti' appears to have been the inspiration for the opening vocal phrase of Handel's 'La speranza' (I.1) (see Ex. 2; also HG 17).

In the next example, 'Trema tiranno' (see Ex. 3; also App. IV. 10 and HG 84), a motif from the middle of Lotti's opening orchestral ritornello is prominent at the beginning of Handel's setting and in Gismonda's entry. In the last of these examples, 'Cervo altier' (see Ex. 4; also App. IV.4 and HG 124), there are several specific relationships in melodic and rhythmic figurations and harmonic progressions, in particular the semiquaver scale ascending from tonic to dominant (Lotti, bars [1.sup.2]-[2.sup.1]; Handel, [1.sup.1-2]), the descent from submediant to dominant in quavers from a weak to a strong beat (Lotti [2.sup.2]-[3.sup.1]; Handel, [1.sup.2-3]), and the identical harmonic progressions during these figurations - the outline of an F major triad on strong beats in the bass (Lotti, [1.sup.1]-[4.sup.1]; Handel, [1.sup.1]-[2.sup.1]) and the oscillating triadic patterns in semiquavers (Lotti, 5-6; Handel, 3).

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Handel must consciously have borrowed ritornello material in the duet 'Notte cara' (II.12) (HG 78) for Gismonda and Matilda from Ottone's aria 'Discordi pensieri' in Teofane (III.1) (see Ex. 5). Finally, an illustration of association between the same word in settings of different texts: the vocal entry in Lotti's 'Pensa ad amare' (I.9) (App. IV.6) could have provided Handel with his initial idea for the voice in 'Pensa, spietata madre' (II.3) (HG 136). In each setting, the verbal imperative is emphasized by repetition and by being set to a descending leap and minims within the context of stepwise movement and shorter note-values. Furthermore, the subsequent outline of the melodic line is similar (see Ex. 6).

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The impression gained from Handel's borrowing of a few snippets of Lotti's music is that he could quite easily have jotted them down at a performance, without needing to consult a score. His use of a couple of snippets in completely different contexts suggests that this might indeed have been the case. It is worth mentioning that there were occasions when he borrowed on a much more extensive scale from an earlier opera on the same plot, for example in Giustino (1739)(57) and Serse (1738).(58)

Predictably, the vocal writing is of a comparable style and technical difficulty for the three singers who took the same parts in both operas, and especially so for Boschi. The most conspicuous example of the overall similarity of his arias is provided by comparing the two composers' settings of 'Le profonde vie' (Lotti, App. IV.9; Handel, HG 72). Both are in flat minor keys;(59) the rhythm is simple and the melody frequently sequential; and the textures are transparent (for a substantial part of each aria the vocal line is in unison with the bass, and the violins and violas double at the octave). Only in the music for Adelberto (in which the composers were writing for different singers) is there a marked difference between the two operas in the style of the vocal writing. This is not solely because Handel was writing for the alto castrato voice of Berenstadt rather than for a high soprano: Lotti may well have had a more technically accomplished singer in Berselli, but it also seems likely that Handel did not want to divert too much attention from the primo uomo, Senesino. The elaborate melismas and ornamentation that Lotti demands of his Adelberto are noticeably less prominent in Handel's conception of the role.

In almost all respects Lotti's music is inferior to Handel's. The only aspect in which his score is more interesting - an observation based on comparison of these two operas alone - is in the variety of the instrumentation. Ottone is scored for oboes and bassoons in addition to the strings; in Teofane, however, recorders play in the overture and several arias, hunting horns in the overture and one of the allegorical finales, and trumpets and timpani on-stage during a sinfonia, and Adelberto's 'Lascia che nel suo viso' (App. IV.7) includes an obbligato for archlute or mandoline. Since the private performances of Teofane were supported by royal sponsorship, money would not have been a constraint. Lotti's score is noticeably longer than Handel's; there is seldom any relief from the monotonous alternation of da capo aria and secco recitative, and not a single accompanied recitative. Handel began his first and third acts unconventionally with cavatinas ('Pur che regni' and 'Dove sei?'), and at two moments of unusual emotional intensity he chose the most unrestrictive form of expression available, the accompanied recitative ('O grati orrori' and 'Io son tradito'). Nor was Lotti as adventurous in his exploration of tonality. The keys of the set pieces are never more remote than E major or C minor and these are rare. Not only did Handel venture further, he clearly associated tonality and drama in a way that did not concern Lotti. The most remote key in Ottone, F minor, is reserved for Teofane's 'Affanni del pensier', in which she is tormented by fears induced by her meeting with the feigned Ottone, and for 'Tanti affanni', Ottone's lament at the loss of Teofane.

The individual movements in Lotti's score are characterized by regularity of both formal design and musical content. Although most of the set pieces in Handel's score also conform to a typical da capo structure, Lotti's use of the form is far less flexible. The 'A' sections almost never deviate from the following framework: a lengthy orchestral ritornello in the tonic; the text of the 'A' section over a modulation to the dominant; a partial statement of the ritornello or excerpt(s) from it in the dominant, which sometimes overlaps with the preceding and following text; a repeat of the text of the 'A' section, almost always longer than initially and usually over internal modulations; and a complete ritornello in the tonic to conclude the section. Occasionally the whole section even remains in the tonic. However, a significant exception to this structure occurs in Teofane's 'Falsa immagine' (App. IV.2), during which she contemplates the deceptive picture of Ottone. After only two bars of ritornello she pours out her misgivings, and at the end of the 'A' section a musical representation of falsehood is achieved through a fake ritornello: a statement of the first two bars of the ritornello precedes a repetition of the final phrase of text before the ritornello is stated in its entirety. There is less rigidity in the tonal structure of the 'B' sections, although these rarely venture beyond keys closely related to the tonic, and any more remote keys are reached via sequential shifts, usually of a tone. Only in the secco recitatives does Lotti approach Handel in daring. Though less fluent harmonically, he is much more adventurous here than in the set pieces. His orchestral accompaniments, frequently lacking the independence of Handel's, are either restricted to prominent motifs from the ritornellos, or double the vocal line, often in thirds. Commonly the impetus of a continuo line is absent: it tends to drop out, leaving the viola as the bass. To summarize, Lotti makes far more use of conventional formulas than Handel, and his music, in this opera at least, frequently suffers from interminable sequences and excessive repetitions, but above all from predictability.

From here on, comparison of the music and the contribution of each composer to the portrayal of character will be divided into two broad categories: Lotti's and Handel's settings of the same text, and Handel's settings of replacement and additional texts by Haym. A few select examples in each category will suffice. In the first category, it is appropriate to indicate similarities in the composers' treatment of individual texts before commenting on interpretations that differ greatly and considering the implications for the drama.

It requires only a cursory glance through the settings of the same texts to notice that the aims of the composers with respect to dramatic considerations rarely appear to conflict but that Handel's greater inventiveness results in a more convincing portrayal of characters. The overall similarity of Boschi's arias in both operas has already been mentioned. There are also numerous correlations, generally of affection, which appear to have been governed more by the need for characterization than by the demands of singers. As well as the resemblance between the composers' settings of 'A' teneri aftetti' and 'Cervo altier', illustrated above, one may profitably compare, too, their settings of 'Del minacciar del vento' (App. IV. 3; HG 24) and 'Alia fama' (App. IV.8; HG 61), for example. On all these occasions it appears that Handel was attempting, as Lotti had done, to depict the aspect of character suggested by Pallavicini's text. Significantly, the most apt illustration is one in which Lotti's music is (for him) unusually vivid: 'Trema tiranno' (App. IV.10; and cf. HG 84). In this aria, Gismonda, true to her domineering image throughout Pallavicini's libretto, gloats over Adelberto's escape. Apart from the coincidence of key between Lotti's and Handel's settings, the scoring is the same and the style of the vocal and orchestral writing similar in conception. Both arias are characterized by incisive disjunct motion of arpeggiated figurations in short note-values. (Handel's use of a motif from Lotti's setting has been illustrated in Ex. 3, above.)

Both composers strove to emphasize the element of remorse in Adelberto's character, which is suppressed in each libretto by his customary treacherous behaviour. This is especially evident in their settings of 'Lascia, che nel suo viso' (App. IV. 7; HG 51). As Matilda meets Adelberto on his way to prison, he hopes to be inspired by her constancy. Lotti was possibly endeavouring to create an atmosphere of desolation and confinement in the orchestral ritornellos through repetitive oscillating and descending semiquaver figurations in the archlute/mandoline above reiterated tonic and dominant pedals in the bass. Unfortunately, the effect is weakened by routine sequences of seventh chords through the cycle of fifths. These accompanimental figurations become a more continual presence as the aria progresses, except at cadences, where Adelberto is supported only by the basses. Handel's methods are both simpler and more subtle. He focused attention on Adelberto by dispensing with an opening ritornello and by doubling the vocal line at the octave for most of the 'A' section with the violins playing pianissimo. In the context of this simpler texture, his unexpected use of chromatic harmony at bars 10-12 is all the more telling; and the impact of this passage is intensified at its repetition in the fuller (and louder) scoring of the orchestral ritornello that concludes the 'A' section. There is effective use of chromatic harmony also in the 'B' section, which includes a momentary move towards the remote key of F minor (the tonic is G minor).

I turn now to the three arias which Handel set in the manner most contrary to Lotti. The text of 'Bel labbro' (I.2) provokes revulsion against the ingratiating and effusive behaviour of Adelberto towards Teofane when he is posing as Ottone. This would not be the reaction on hearing only the music of each setting. Lotti's aria (Ap. IV.I), which seems to have been conceived primarily as a vehicle for Berselli to display his technical accomplishments, conveys geniality and vivacity in its rhythmic and melodic figurations. Adelberto's line is extremely prominent, with a propulsive harmonic support from upper strings only, marked piano, and consisting mostly of crotchets in contrast to the shorter note-values and frequent dotted rhythms of the vocal line. Handel (HG 20), however, actively seeks compassion for the character, by much the same means as in 'Lascia, che nel suo viso'. As in that aria, he employed in 'Bel labbro' a minor key, slow triple metre, and a richly scored ritornello to close the 'A' section. There had been no ritornello at all at the opening, where the violins enter after a few bars in expressive imitation of the vocal line at the octave; and there are several instances of close repetition, or development and expansion of motifs, including harmonic ones, throughout the aria. Descending sequences, suspensions and the sarabande rhythm all contribute to an atmosphere of melancholy.

The two composers' settings of 'Falsa immagine' (App. IV. 2; HG 22) superficially create vastly different impressions of Teofane's reaction to the deceptive portrait of Ottone. Most obviously, Lotti's aria is on a much larger scale than Handel's: 210 bars of 2/4 (including the da capo), scored for strings and continuo, compared with 50 bars of 4/4, with only continuo accompaniment but with a two-bar string ritornello after the dal segno.(60) The almost immediate entry of Teofane in Lotti's setting has been mentioned already, and this directness, verging on stridency, is characteristic of the aria. Tonally and harmonically, the setting is extremely straightforward, as is the motivic material, which is dominated by arpeggios. There is a strong sense of direction towards structural cadences before the central and concluding ritornellos, with melismas of several bars' duration over pedal points, ascending in pitch and growing progressively more elaborate. By contrast, Handel's setting far more perceptively evokes Teofane's concurrent emotions of bewilderment, fear and desire, through frequent short pauses in the vocal line, a combination of smooth and dotted rhythms, and the occasional but effective soaring of her melodic line. An unexpected hint of dominant tonality at an interrupted cadence, where the listener expects Teofane's final cadence of the 'A' section (bars 17-18), is a more delicate means of encapsulating the underlying sense of insecurity than is Lotti's false ritornello.

Handel's superior ability to convey nuances of emotion is again illustrated by comparing the two settings of 'Diresti poi cosi?' (App. IV.5; HG 31). Through much of Lotti's setting, the violas and basses maintain oscillating figurations around an octave in continuous quavers, while the voice weaves in and out of the viola line in crotchets. The regularity of the rhythm, combined with bland harmony and constant repetition and predictable sequences, creates an increasingly monotonous effect. The prominent and insistent strokes of tonic minor harmony may have been an attempt by Lotti to suggest Matilda's struggle between her love for Adelberto and fury at his treachery. Handel communicates her dilemma on a large scale through the completely contrasted 'A' and 'B' sections. There is no introductory ritornello; instead the aria opens with Matilda questioning whether she should confront Adelberto. Immediately an atmosphere of hesitancy is introduced by her entry on a first-inversion tonic chord, and is sustained by the avoidance of a strong tonic chord in root position until near the end of the 'A' section. A sense of instability is created also by the melodic and harmonic chromaticism appearing both in the slurred quaver figuration in the violins and in the melismas in the voice, and by the contrast of this smooth and continuous texture with Matilda's halting questions. She finally vents her rage in the 'B' section, where the tonality is firmly established from the outset, the melody and harmony remain diatonic and the rhythm is forceful.

The remainder of this study is devoted to Handel's settings of replacement and additional texts by Haym, examining the implications for the characters as portrayed by Pallavicini. There are three separate issues to consider: the situations where Haym's text produced an implausible reaction in a character; those in which he revealed a previously hidden trait of personality; and finally, an instance where the substituted text hardly differs in either meaning or emotion from Pallavicini's original.

The implausible reactions produced in Ottone by Haym's substitution of the texts 'Ritorna, o dolce amore', 'Dove sei?' and 'Tanti affanni' have been described in connection with his adaptation of Pallavicini's libretto. In his settings of these three texts - all damaging to Pallavicini's portrayal of the heroic leader but which would have allowed Senesino to indulge his preference for scenes of pathos - Handel evokes sympathy for Ottone to the extent of diverting attention from the deficiencies of plot and characterization in Haym's libretto. The outstanding example is 'Tanti affanni' (HG 87), an aria of extraordinary emotional expression in which Ottone laments the loss of Teofane. For painting this portrait of extreme anguish - as for Teofane's earlier aria of tragic despair, 'Affanni del pensier' (HG 39) - Handel reserved the remote key of F minor. The heavy five-part texture of strings and voice grows in density and contrapuntal complexity, with increasing imitation and suspension, reaching a climax in the 'B' section, where there is not a single rest in the accompaniment and scarcely any in the vocal line. After the almost entirely minor tonality of the 'A' section, the opening of the 'B' section in the relative major provides a glimmer of hope, but respite is only temporary. The music plunges flatwards to the dark and distant tonalities of A flat minor and E flat minor through unexpected chromatic alterations. When the relative major eventually reasserts itself towards the end of the section, a twinge of its minor mode intrudes again in the closing bars. The whole aria is pervaded by chromaticism, including prominent Neapolitan harmony, by insistent descending sequences and by oppressive slurred quaver figurations. In 'Dove sei?' (HG 81) Handel conveys both Ottone's despair and his anxious longing for Teofane through the falling phrases in the vocal line, which fluctuates between smooth and dotted rhythms, and through the dotted and always descending figure and the suspensions and appoggiaturas that are prominent throughout in the orchestra. In the earlier and shorter of his two 'B' sections for the aria Handel introduced dark Neapolitan harmony at the principal cadences, and in the superior section that superseded this a surprising enharmonic tonal wrench interrupting a conventional flatwards modulating sequence.(61) In 'Ritorna, o dolce amore' (HG 30), Handel communicates Ottone's sorrow at his separation from Teofane through a deceptively simple yet effective lovesong in a lilting siciliano rhythm and with long vocal phrases. Limited thematic resources and light orchestral accompaniment conceal subtle extensions of phrases through melodic and rhythmic variants. Towards the end of the 'A' section, which has been firmly in the tonic and dominant major keys, Handel introduces a startlingly unexpected but expressive hint of subdominant minor tonality. This occurs at Ottone's final plea for the return of his beloved, and foreshadows the exclusively minor tonality of the 'B' section, where he dwells on the effect of her absence.

In several of his settings of Haym's texts for the three female characters, Handel reinforced the revelation of previously hidden traits of personality. The resulting portrayal of Gismonda is most at variance with the character depicted by Pallavicini, especially in her added scene (II.4), where she is overwhelmed by her maternal instincts in the aria 'Vieni, o figlio' (HG 55). Handel exploited the potential of this text to humanize her previously indomitable personality by providing her with an extraordinarily entrancing aria. The affection is achieved primarily through the key of E major (not normally associated with tyranny), the Largo tempo, piano dynamic almost throughout, and the rich four-part texture of the string accompaniment. From Gismonda's immediate entry (there is no opening ritornello), the aria grows gradually but inexorably to an impassioned climax at the end of the 'B' section. The irregularity of the phrase lengths, the continual development of the motivic material through subtle melodic and rhythmic variants and, in particular, the permeation of the rocking dotted figure throughout the texture contribute to the effect. Furthermore, the predominant diatonicism is slowly pervaded by slight chromatic touches, culminating during the 'A' section in two climaxes of subdominant minor harmony, on the word 'mori' (bar 41) and again in the closing ritornello (bar 59), both emphasized by the exceptional forte dynamic. And, despite the continuity ensured by the unusual opening of the 'B' section in the tonic, the tonality, propelled by the' dotted figure with its rocking semitones, surges relentlessly through C sharp minor towards G sharp minor. As Dean and Knapp observe, Handel 'almost overbalances the opera' in seeking 'sympathy for this unscrupulous woman's love of her weak and equally unscrupulous son'.(62)

It has been argued above that Teofane's conflict between duty and desire is more acute in Pallavicini's libretto. By his addition of two soliloquy scenes (I.10 and II.8), including the arias 'Affanni del pensier' and 'S'or mi dai pene', Haym focuses on Teofane's distress at her dilemma, emphasizing a fragility that is intensified by Handel's setting of the first text (HG 39) (but see below for the second). She surrenders to her doubts about Adelberto's identity and fears for the future in the key of F minor, the Larghetto tempo and the densely contrapuntal and dissonant five-part texture - all comparable with Ottone's 'Tanti affanni'. The pulsating rhythm, ceasing only at final cadences, the close canonic imitations, the pervasive chromaticism (both melodic and harmonic), the exposed suspensions, and the insistence on the flat submediant note in the principal theme, which continually changes direction and contrasts stepwise motion and leaps, all describe her torment. During the second of these scenes, Teofane, believing Ottone to be unfaithful, seeks solace in her surroundings. Handel originally complemented her tonally daring and harmonically tortuous accompanied recitative 'O grati orrori' (HG 68) with a simple sarabande setting of 'S'or mi dai pene',(63) in which she prays to the god of love for pity. He replaced this with a mournful Largo setting of a text of similar affection, 'S'io dir potessi' (HG 70), but - evidently at Cuzzoni's insistence - he was finally forced to reject these reflective settings in favour of his fast and fiery second setting of 'S'or mi dai pene'.(64) This is characterized by syncopated rhythms and torrents of scalic and arpeggiated figurations. The high tessitura and frequent and lengthy melismas would have further displayed the singer's technical virtuosity.

Handel's enhancement of Haym's revelation of a hidden trait in Matilda is illustrated by 'Ah! tu non sai' (HG 53), which expressively captures her anguish at Adelberto's imprisonment. The aria, Larghetto and almost entirely piano, remains mostly in the minor mode with only brief respites of major tonality. Except for the four-part string ritornello closing the 'A' section, the texture is sparse. The oscillating bare intervals of the violin part, often descending and always in slurred pairs of semiquavers, are a permanent reminder of Matilda's sense of desolation. They are almost exclusive to the violin, apart from a brief but telling appearance in the vocal line during its opening phrase (bars 15 and 17). Here they descend by stepwise movement as musical sighs inspired by the text ('sospira' in bar 15). Elsewhere the predominantly falling vocal line is independent of the atmospheric but accompanimental violin part.

Finally, the duet 'Notte cara' (HG 78) for Gismonda and Matilda provides an example of a substituted text that hardly differs in either meaning or emotion from Pallavicini's original. A substantial amount of this text is indeed borrowed and rearranged from 'Non tardate a festeggiar' (unpublished). In both texts, Gismonda and Matilda address the night in gratitude for the successful outcome of their scheme for Adelberto's escape. However, the vocative 'Notte cara', which is concealed within the 'B' section of Pallavicini's text, is placed prominently at the opening in Haym's. The dramatic significance of these words is reflected in Handel's musical setting of them: on the first and several subsequent appearances the voices enter in imitation, and the suspension each creates with the bass line is enhanced by the unexpected entrance on a weak beat in long note-values within the context of shorter ones. Comparison of Handel's setting of 'Notre cara' with his pre-performance rejected setting of 'Non tardate a festeggiar' suggests an increased preoccupation with characterization of the two scheming women. This is especially evident in the relationship between their vocal lines, which are closely spaced, sometimes overlap in pitch and are frequently imitative. A variety of rhythmic motifs above an almost continuously active bass line, and the ascending arpeggiated figurations in dotted rhythms and predominantly rising melodic lines in the orchestral parts, contribute towards the atmosphere of rejoicing.

Comparison of the music of these two operas has confirmed the probability that Handel was acquainted with Lotti's Teofane and, moreover, has revealed that he borrowed snippets of music from it for Ottone. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the study has demonstrated Handel's superior technical expertise, his originality and inventiveness and his freedom from convention. Furthermore, it has illuminated his ability to portray subtleties of character and to convey nuances of emotion. Despite the flawed libretto, Handel is able to camouflage any weaknesses and to arouse sympathy where the audience would feel none if Ottone were merely a drama.

This article is a slightly revised version of Chapter 2 of my unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Handel's Opera Ottone (1723): the Composition and Performance History during the Composer's Lifetime, University of Cambridge, 1995. I am grateful to my research supervisor Dr Andrew Jones, to my Ph.D. examiners Professor Donald Burrows and Dr Iain Fenlon and also to Professor Curtis Price for their advice, to Dr Rosamond McKitterick for guiding me towards the literature on medieval history, and to the editors and referees of Music & Letters for their suggestions. I should like to thank also the many librarians who have been helpful, particularly those of the following institutions: the Library of Congress, Washington, and the Sachsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden, for providing microfilms of the librettos and score of Lotti's Teofane; and the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, the British Library, London, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the Staats- und Universitatsbibliothek, Hamburg, for providing microfilms of the librettos and scores of Handel's Ottone. Finally, I am grateful to Christ's College, Cambridge, for financial assistance during the preparation of this article.

1 The exceptions are the librettos by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani for Agrippina (1710) and by Aaron Hill and Giacomo Rossi for Rinaldo (1711). See Reinhard Strohm, 'Handel and his Italian Opera Texts', Essays on Handel and Italian Opera, Cambridge, 1985, pp. 40-41, and Winton Dean & John Merrill Knapp, Handel's Operas 1704-1726, Oxford, 1987, pp. 117-19, 171-3. However, Strohm suggests that Grimani's Agrippina is possibly only a reworking of an older libretto, either his own or another poet's. While elaborating upon this suggestion, Dean and Knapp state that there is no conclusive evidence for an earlier libretto.

2 For a sketchy plan of events from records of the Saxon lord marshal's office, see Johannes Gress, 'Handel in Dresden (1719)', Handel-Jahrbuch, ix (1963), 140-41 n. 18. Fuller details can be gleaned from Moritz Furstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am Hole der Kurfursten von Sachsen und Konige von Polen, ii (Dresden, 1861), 139-48, and Irmgard Becker-Glauch, Di Bedeutung der Musik far die Dresdner Hoffeste bis in die Zeit Augusts des Starken, Kassel & Basle, 1951, pp. 101-10.

3 Furstenau, op. cit., p. 97; Becker-Glauch, op. cit., p. 98.

4 See ibid., pp. 98-9, for further particulars.

5 For more information on the activities of the prince in Venice, see Furstenau, op. cit., pp. 98-101, and Becker-Glauch, op. cit., pp. 23, 26-7. For a timetable of the prince's foreign travels during the years 1711-19, see Wolfgang Horn, Die Dresdner Hofkirchenmusik 1720-1745: Studien zu ihren Voraussetzungen und ihrem Repertoire, Stuttgart, 1987, pp. 23-4.

6 Harris S. Saunders, 'Lotti, Antonio', The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, iii. 55.

7 Furstenau, op. cit., pp. 105-6. Becker-Glauch (op. cit., pp. 24-5) presents the changing membership of the company in a table, but mistakenly includes Boschi among the alto castratos instead of with the basses, an error deriving from Furstenau, whom she acknowledges to be one of her sources.

8 Furstenau, op. cit., p. 114.

9 Furstenau (op. cit., pp. 128-32) relates the process of building the opera house and describes its finished appearance.

10 Ibid., pp. 132-3; Becker-Glauch, op. cit., pp. 24-5. See also Sibylle Dahms, 'Pallavicino (Pallavicini), Stefano Benedetto', The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, iii. 838, and Michael Talbot, 'Lucchini, Antonio Maria', ibid., iii. 68-9.

11 Gress, 'Handel in Dresden (1719)', pp. 142-3. It is surprising that, unlike Gress, neither Furstenau nor Becker-Glauch implies that Teofane was originally intended for the opening ceremony. Although he mentions no source, Gress is apparently not merely stating a personal opinion.

12 It provided Handel with the source for his pasticcio of the same name in 1739.

13 The names are obtained from the libretto; source: Washington, DC, Library of Congress, SCHATZ 5723.

14 The last two are listed in the libretto as 'Carlo de Bargues' and 'Giambatista Woulmyer'.

15 Becker-Glauch, Die Bedeutung der Musik fur die Dresdner Hoffeste, p. 101.

16 For amplification, see Furstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters, pp. 139-48, and Becker-Glauch, op. cit., pp. 101-10.

17 Elizabeth Gibson, The Royal Academy of Music (1719-1728): the Institution and its Directors, New York, 1989, p. 112; Otto Erich Deutsch, Handel: a Documentary Biography, London, 1955, pp. 89-90.

18 Gress, 'Handel in Dresden (1719)', p. 136. He explains that Deutsch (op. cit., p. 92) is incorrect in maintaining that Handel visited the Dusseldorf court of the Elector Palatine, pointing out that the then elector never resided there, but at Heidelberg and Mannheim. Dean and Knapp (Handel's Operas 1704-1726, p. 301) concur with Deutsch, and Wolfdieter Meinardus ('Dusseldorf', The New Grove, v. 758) states that the court moved to Mannheim only in 1720.

19 Deutsch, op. cit., pp. 93-4; Gibson, op. cit, p. 115.

20 Furstenau, op. cit., pp. 152-3; Deutsch, op. cit., p. 94; Gress, op. cit., p. 139; Dean & Knapp, loc. cit.

21 'Herrn Johann Joachim Quantzens Lebenslauf, yon ihm selbst entworfen', in Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, Historisch-kritische Beytrage zur Aufnahme der Musik, i (Berlin, 1754), 214-15; Furstenau, op. cit., pp. 153-4; Horn, Dresdner Hofkirchenmusik 1720-1745, p. 51; Dean & Knapp, loc. cit.; Winton Dean, 'Senesino', The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, iv. 314; and idem, 'Berselli, Matteo', The New Grove, ii. 632. Varying inferences can be drawn from the literature on the king's motives in dismissing not only Senesino but all his singers and the Italian architects, painters and carpenters. Quantz (loc. cit.) explains that the dispute was resolved to Heinichen's satisfaction through the efforts of Count yon Wackerbart, but that a command then arrived from the king in Poland, to whom the incident had previously been reported, ordering all the singers to be dismissed. Furstenau (p. 154), who includes part of Quantz's account, states that once the aggrieved parties had been reconciled through the intervention of the crown prince, only the king thought it best to punish all the singers for the high spirits of their colleague. He even suggests (p. 153) that the Italians caused a scandal in order to be released from their engagements, leaving them free to accept Handel's offer. Becker-Glauch (op. cit., pp. 27, 110) interprets his actions as demonstrating the close relationship between festivities and music at the Dresden court: a significant component of the celebrations in 1719, the Italian opera had since become for the king an expensive superfluity. Gress (op. cit, p. 144) takes the practical viewpoint that the king's financial resources had been drained as a result of the exorbitant cost of building and entertainments. He assumes that it was common knowledge that the king used Senesino's behaviour as a welcome excuse for disbanding the opera company. Interpreting these nuances (and acknowledging Furstenau's opinion), Horn (loc. cit.) conjectures that the arrangement suited both sides, allowing the elector to discharge himself from the irksome expenditure and the Italians to accept Handel's offer. Gibson (op. cit., p. 115), on the other hand, implies that only Senesino was dismissed, by stating that at his departure he encouraged several of the other performers to accompany him; but she gives no source for her statement.

22 Gibson, op. cit, p. 141; Dean & Knapp, op. cit., pp. 305-6.

23 For a transcription of the Argument for Ottone, see Appendix I, below.

24 I have not yet been able to trace a libretto or other publication including the name Teofane in the title. An opera Ottone (libretto by Girolamo Frigimelica Roberti, set to music by Carlo Francesco Pollarolo) was first performed at Venice in 1694, but the subject of this opera was Otto III, the son of Otto II and Theophanu (see Strohm, 'Handel and his Italian Opera Texts', p. 48, and Claudio Sartori, Libretti italiani a stampa dalle origini al 1800: catalogo analitico con 16 indici, Cunco, 1990-, iv. 340). Otto I was clearly the principal character of Ottone il Grande (librettist Francesco Silvani, composer Paolo Biego), which was premiered at Venice in 1683 (see ibid., p. 341). Other librettos traced by Sartori including 'Ottone' in the title can be dismissed on the grounds of the characters.

25 Dahms, 'Pallavicino', loc. cit. For an appraisal of his life and work, see Francesco Algarotti, 'Vita di Stefano Benedetto Pallavicini', Opere, Livorno, 1765, viii: 'Opere varie', pp. 5-19.

26 For a brief summary of relevant medieval German sources, see Timothy Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages c.800-1056, New York, 1991, pp. 2-3.

27 Ibid., p. 174; Josef Fleckenstein, Early Medieval Germany, Amsterdam, 1978, p. 150; Karl Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony, London, 1979, p. 30.

28 Reuter, loc. cit.; Karl Leyser, Medieval Germany and its Neighbours 900-1250, London, 1982, p. 117. Gunther Wolf ('Wer war Theophanu?', Kaiserin Theophanu: Begegnung des Ostens und Westens um die Wende des ersten Jahrtausends, ed. Anton yon Euw & Peter Schreiner, Cologne, 1991, ii. 385) suggests that Theophanu's father was the brother of Mafia Sklerina, first wife of John Tzimiskes, and that through her mother, Sophia Phokas, Theophanu was the great-niece of the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (963-9), but these relationships have not yet been proved.

29 Leyser, Medieval Germany, p. 117 n. 86.

30 Reuter, loc. cit.; Fleckenstein, loc. cit.

31 Reuter, op. cit., p. 177; Giovanni Tabacco, The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy: Structures of Political Rule, Cambridge, 1989, p. 178.

32 George Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, trans. Joan Hussey, Oxford, 1956; 2nd edn., 1968, pp. 284-5.

33 Ibid., pp. 292-3.

34 Reuter, op. cit., pp. 170-71; Chris Wickham, Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society 400-1000, London, 1981, p. 180.

35 See the genealogical table in Leyser, Rule and Conflict, between pp. 91 & 92.

36 Leuckfeld mentioned the existence of the charter in his Antiquitates Poeldenses, Wolfenbuttel, 1707, p. 29, and its location in his Antiquitates Halberstadenses, Wolfenbuttel, 1714, p. 248. This information is extracted from Rudolf Grieser, 'G. W. Leibniz und die sogenannte Heiratsurkunde der Kaiserin Theophanu', Braunschweigisches Jahrbuch, li (1970), 84-5.

37 Ibid.; Wolfgang Georgi, 'Ottonianum und Heiratsurkunde 962/972', Kaiserin Theophanu, ed. Euw & Schreiner, p. 135.

38 Annales Imperii Occidentis Brunsvicenses, ed. Georg Heinrich Pertz, Hanover, 1846, iii. 292-3.

39 Konrad Sasse, 'Die Texte der Londoner Opera Handels in ihren gesellschaftlichen Beziehungen', Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg, iv (1955), 633.

40 Strohm, 'Handel and his Italian Opera Texts', p. 48.

41 Grieser, op. cit., pp. 85-8.

42 Lowell Lindgren conjectures that the source librettos were undoubtedly examined and approved by many and that Haym may have made recommendations: see 'The Accomplishments of the Learned and Ingenious Nicola Francesco Haym (1678-1729)', Studi musicali, xvi (1987), 308. However, he explains that none of Haym's dedications answers the question of who selected the libretto.

43 See Charlotte Spitz, 'Die Opern "Ottone" von G. F. Handel (London, 1722) und "Teofane" von A. Lotti (Dresden, 1719); ein Stilvergleich', Festsehrift zura 50. Geburtstag Adolf Sandberger, Munich, 1918, pp. 265-71, and Dean & Knapp, Handel's Operas 1704-1726, pp. 420-23. For an outline of the relationship between the operas, including tables showing the relationship between the librettos, see Winton Dean, 'The Genesis and Early History of Ottone', Gottinger Handel-Beitrage, ii (Kassel, 1986), 129-40.

44 Lindgren ('The Accomplishments of ... Haym', p. 307 & n. 193) provides evidence of the prime requisites for success with librettos in early eighteenth-century London, and (ibid., pp. 307-8) discusses the adapter's duties.

45 The continually changing relationship between the librettos is shown by means of a table in Appendix III. For the relationship between the libretto of Teofane and the 1723 London libretto of Ottone, see I libretti italiani di Georg Friedrich Handel e le loro fonti, ed. Lorenzo Bianconi & Giuseppina La Face Bianconi, i/1 (Florence, 1992), 185-226. The editors reproduce the complete libretto of Teofane, enclosing in boxes those sections retained in the libretto of Ottone.

46 Spitz, 'Die Opera "Ottone" ... und "Teofane" ...', p. 266.

47 For the plot of Ottone, see Appendix II.

48 Spitz, loc. cit.

49 Spitz, op. cit., p. 267.

50 Source: Dresden, Sachsische Landesbibliothek, MS Mus. 2159 F/7.

51 'Die Opern "Ottone" . . . und "Teofane" . . . ein Stilvergleich'.

52 Handel's Operas 1704-1726, pp. 420-23.

53 John H. Roberts, who has identified many of Handel's borrowings, has made no mention of those illustrated below.

54 Although my treatment of character and its portrayal in the music of Ottone is inevitably influenced by the study in Dean & Knapp, op. cit., pp. 424-30, and reaches some similar conclusions, it also involves direct comparison of Handel's and Lotti's settings of the same text in order to investigate the contribution of each composer to characterization and the implications for the drama.

55. "Reinhard Strohm, 'Handel's Pasticci', Essays on Handel and Italian Opera, p. 168.

56 Dean and Knapp (op. cit., p. 422 n. 9) explain that 'Cervo altier', first performed during the 1726 revival, is of uncertain date. In the following discussion, 'HG 118' (etc.) refers to page numbers in Friedrich Chrysander's Handel-Gesellschaft edition of Ottone (lxvi; Leipzig, 1881).

57 Strohm, 'Vivaldi's and Handel's settings of Giustino', Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. Nigel Fortune, Cambridge, 1987, pp. 131-58.

58 Harold & Powers, 'Il Serse trasformato', The Musical Quarterly, xlvii (1961), 481-92, & xlviii (1962), 73-92.

59 Dean and Knapp (Handel's Operas 1704-1726, p. 422) observe that the resemblance in the vocal writing for Boschi extends to the flat minor keys favoured by the singer. (That Boschi perhaps preferred the minor mode is suggested by the predominance of arias in flat minor keys that Handel composed for him.)

60 The four-bar version of this ritornello printed in HG and obtained from the autograph (British Library, R.M. 20.b.9) was replaced prior to performance by the two-bar version which appears in the copy of the score in the Earl of Malmesbury's collection (on film at the Hampshire Record Office).

61, The composition and performance history of the two sections - only the longer of which was probably performed and not until Cuzzoni's benefit performance during the first run - is explained in McLauchlan, Handel's Opera Ottone (1723), pp. 24-7.

62 Handel's Operas 1704-1726, p. 428.

63 This remains unpublished; it and the other unpublished pieces in Ottone are transcribed in the appendices of McLauchlan, Handel's Opera Ottone (1723).

64 This is not the place for detailed explanation of the reasons why it is accepted that this setting was the first-performance version. The matter is considered ibid., pp. 139 - 45, where the settings are compared in detail.


The Argument from the Libretto of Ottone (London, 1723)(*)

OTHO, Son to the Emperor Otho the Great, being sent by his Father into Italy, got there Several Victories, not only over the Grecians, who, at that time, contended with the Germans for the Possession of it; but likewise over the Saracens, who continually infested the Sea Coasts. The former being forced into a Peace, he obtained Theophane, Daughter to Romano, Emperor of the East, who long before had been promised him for his Bride. Basilio was Brother to Theophane, who being drove out of Constantinople, by the Tyrant Nicephoro, liv'd so long in Exile, till he was call'd in by Zemisces, to have a part in the Empire. It is supposed, that this Prince, during his Exile, should turn Pirate, taking the Name of Emireno; and being ignorant of what past in Constantinople, should chace the Ships which brought Theophane to Rome, and should be overcome by those of Otho as he went to meet his Bride. It is likewise supposed, that Adelberto, Son to Berengario, a Tyrant in Italy, by the instigation of his Mother, here called Gismonda, should cause Rome to rebel against the Germans, who were not long e'er they retook it: This Action here attributed to the Second Otho, in History, is reckoned among those of Otho the Great. It is also a Fiction, that Theophane should fall in the Power of Adelberto, and that he should see her and fall in Love with her at the Time he was incognito at Constantinople. This occasions the greatest part of the Accidents which are seen in this Drama.

(*) Source: Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Mus 1337.


Synopsis of Haym's Libretto for Ottone (*)

The scene is Rome, and the neighbouring Country.(**)


A Gallery adorn'd with Statues.

Gismonda persuades her son Adelberto to pose as Ottone in the presence of Teofane. On meeting the man she assumes to be her future husband, Teofane is disturbed that he does not resemble his portrait.

Tents near the Sea, and Ships.

During battle with the Saracens, Ottone has captured Emireno who disdains to reveal his identity. Matilda informs her cousin Ottone that Gismonda and Adelberto have seized Rome and requests forces with which to exact revenge on Adelberto, to whom she is betrothed.

A Royal Court, with a Throne on one Side.

Gismonda, posing as Ottone's mother Adelaide, surprises Teofane with her praise for the heroism of her enemies. As Adelberto is about to marry Teofane, Gismonda interrupts with the news that Ottone and the Germans have advanced into Rome with the support of the people. Realizing that Adelberto is not Ottone, Teofane is overwhelmed by doubts and fears.

Part of OTHO'S Army drive back the Soldiers of ADELBERTO, who is disarm'd by Otho in a single Combat.

In the ensuing battle in Rome, Ottone defeats Adelberto, then orders him to be imprisoned with Emireno and tortured until he explains his actions. Ottone now looks forward to his marriage.


A Royal Court.

Matilda meets Adelberto on his way to prison and reproaches him for his betrayal, but soon takes pity on him. Rather than begging Ottone for mercy, as Matilda suggests, Gismonda prefers death for her son, but alone she reveals maternal feelings. The first meeting between Ottone and Teofane is interrupted by Matilda's pleas for Adelberto's life. Ottone refuses her request, but embraces her out of pity. Teofane naturally misinterprets this and tells him to hasten to her rival at which he challenges her feelings for Adelberto. Afterwards he admits that her jealousy is endearing if caused by love.

A Garden and Prospect of the Tiber, with Fountains and Grotto's; to one of which, leads a Subterranean Passage, clos'd up with a Stone. Night.

In her distress Teofane prays to the god of love for pity. Emireno and Adelberto emerge from a subterranean passage discussing a letter which explains that there should be a boat nearby with some of Emireno's men. The pirate goes in search of it. Ottone comes to look for Teofane, but Matilda manages to lure him away, observed by Teofane and Adelberto, who is hiding. Emireno returns with some of his men and together with Adelberto carries Teofane fainting to the boat. Gismonda and Matilda rejoice at the successful outcome of their scheme and offer praises to the night.


An Appartment.

Ottone laments the loss of Teofane. Gismonda tells him gloatingly that Adelberto and Emireno have escaped, and explains that even if he kills her, as she expects, Adelberto will still be alive to torment him. Ottone assumes that they have taken Teofane with them and grieves over his betrayal.

A Wood with a Prospect of the Tiber.

A storm has forced Emireno's boat ashore, and he sends Adelberto to look for shelter. Meanwhile, the pirate discovers Teofane's identity but does not disclose his own. When she says that Ottone or her brother Basilio will avenge her, he goes to embrace her, but, naturally, both she and the returning Adelberto mistrust his intentions. Emireno places Adelberto under arrest and assures Teofane that she has nothing to fear. She invites his guards to kill her, swearing fidelity to Ottone despite his betrayal.

A Royal Court.(***)

Matilda tells Ottone that Adelberto abducted Teofane. Gismonda explains that the escape was planned by Matilda, but the latter, now remorseful, promises to take Adelberto's life. She is stopped by Emireno bringing along Adelberto in chains. Ottone orders Emireno's Moors to put him to death, but Matilda demands the right, and is about to stab him when his confession causes her to drop the dagger. Gismonda chastises her for weakness and seizes the dagger to kill herself, but is prevented by the entry of Teofane. The lovers are united and Teofane explains that Basilio is her exiled brother. Gismonda and Adelberto swear loyalty to Ottone. Matilda sets Adelberto free for the second time and accepts him as her husband.

* The Argument, reproduced in Appendix I, provides the essential background to the plot.

** All headings from the 1725 London libretto are underlined.

*** Omitted from the English translation in the libretto.


[Musical Expression Omitted]
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Author:McLauchlan, Fiona
Publication:Music & Letters
Date:Aug 1, 1997
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