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Cherubini - Bock/Geyer (CHERUBINI-EDITION)

L' Idalide (1784)

Duration: 180 minutes
Opera seria in three acts

Libretto by Ferdinando Moretti (I)

2S,highAltus,Altus,T; minor roles; chorus; ballet; .
Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Teatro della Pergola, Florence
Company: .


ATALIBA, Inca, king of a part of PeruAlto
ENRICO, Nobleman from Castile, lover of IdalideHigh Alto
IDALIDE, Virgin of the SunSoprano
PALMORO, Inca of noble blood, her fatherTenor
ALCILOE, sister of AtalibaLyric Soprano
IMARO, Confidant of Enricominor role
Virgins of the Sun, Priest of the Sunminor roles (from chorus)
The rulers of the Peruvian Empire, Peruvian soldiers

Time and Place
Peru in the 16th century

Young Enrico, a Spanish war hero marooned on the shores of the Inca Empire, falls in love with the temple servant Idalide. Though she secretly returns his love, Idalide knows her love is inappropriate for her position as ‘Maiden of the Sun’. For the time being, the two of them seek refuge in brave mutual austerity. Enrico receives noble honours for his military achievements and, as a reward, is given the hand of Alciloe, sister of the Inca king Ataliba – an utterly painful honour for all involved. When the temple is destroyed by an earthquake, Enrico hurries towards it to rescue his lover. He enters the forbidden holy area and persuades her to escape with him. According to traditional law, this is a crime that which is punishable by death, but as the culprit is missing, Idalide’s father Palmoro is threatened to be punished with penance. Eventually the couple is caught and Idalide has to face her sentence: being buried alive. Deeply distressed, Palmoro turns against Enrico. Shortly before the sentence is carried out, Enrico interferes, announcing his intention to die together with Idalide. The Inca king is moved and talks to the two of them, eventually changing his mind. The barbaric old practice is finally abolished.
Helen Geyer



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