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Aci Galatea e Polifemo

Aci Galatea e Polifemo

Georg Friedrich Händel composed Aci, Galatea e Polifemo during his trip to Italy, where he had been invited to attend the wedding between Tolomeo III Saverio Gallo, Duke of Alvito, and Beatrice di Tocco di Sanseverino, niece of Aurora Sanseverino, in Naples. It was her who asked her secretary, Nicola Giuvo, to write the libretto which had to be set within the pastoral fairy tale criterions. The aim was to praise loyalty in love, through the beautiful arias rich in metaphors.

Synopsis of Aci Galatea e Polifemo

Galatea is a semi-divine nymph, in love with the shepherd Acis who loves her in return. All the surrounding animals and humans praise their love but Polypheme, a giant cyclops, jealous of their love, is trying to separate them. Acis reacts to the giant's aggressive attempts to divide them and threatens action, but Polyphemus, jealous of the couple's perfect love, brutally kills him. Galatea, desperate, remembers she can use her semi-divine powers to turn him into a fountain. Galatea has so immortalised the spirit of Acis by giving him a new shape and life and she's free to continue loving him.
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