Tomaso Albinoni, a prolific composer of concertos, also wrote some fifty full-scale operas, but only Zenobia and Statira are extant in complete form.
Engelberta, on a libretto by the ‘reform’ poets Apostolo Zeno and Pietro Pariati, premiered at Venice’s Teatro San Cassiano during the Carnival season of 1709. According to recent research, Act IV and V might (or not) have been composed by Francesco Gasparini, who – however – took official credit for the whole score. The plot revolves around the figure of Engelberga, wife of the Carolingian emperor Ludwig II, here depicted as an unpretentious and gullible woman. Although this hardly matches the historical reality, it gives occasion to several arias in a tender, lyrical vein before her innocence triumphs in the end.
Conductor | Francesco Erle
Director | Francesco Bellotto
Sets | Alessia Colosso
Costumes | Carlos Tieppo
Baroque Orchestra Conservatorio
Benedetto Marcello di Venezia
First representation in modern times