Act 1 Scene 9. Aria: Scherz in mar la navicella (Adelaide) Quanto pił fien tenaci
The libretto of Lotario is adapted from Antonio Salvi, and is based on historical events in tenth-century Italy immediately preceding those referred to in Handel’s Ottone. In the original version of the libretto the leading male character, based on King Otto I of Germany, was called Ottone, but in Handel’s version the name was changed to Lotario (Lothair) to avoid confusion between the two operas. In Lotario Duke Berengario has become king of Italy by murdering the legitimate king and is laying siege to the city of Pavia, where Queen Adelaide, the widow of the murdered king, has taken refuge. Berengario and his wife Matilda want their son Idelberto to marry Adelaide to protect their position and secure the throne for their descendants. In Act 1 King Lotario of Germany visits Adelaide and promises to help her, giving her the courage to withstand the threats of Berengario and Matilda. She asserts her determination not to give in to their demands in a dazzlingly brilliant aria, bringing the act to a thrilling close.
from notes by Anthony Hicks © 2000