Act 1 No 1: Overture
Act 1 No 2: Sinfonia
Act 1. Aria: No, più soffrir non voglio (Lisaura)
Act 1. Aria: Placa l'alma (Rossane/Lisaura)
Act 1. Recitative: Che vidi? Che mirai! (Lisaura/Rossane)
Act 2. Aria: Aure, fonti, ombre gradite (Rossane)
Act 2. Aria: Che tirannia d'amor! (Lisaura)
Act 2. Aria: Dica il falso, dica il vero (Rossane)
Act 2. Recitative: Pur troppo veggio d'Alessandro il core (Lisaura)
Act 2. Recitative: Solitudine amate (Rossane)
Act 2. Recitative: Svanisci oh reo timore (Rossane)
Alessandro’s military success is acclaimed. He looks forward to the pleasures of love after the pleasures of conquest, and turns first to Rossane. Lisaura’s annoyance is not appeased when he attempts to embrace her as well, and she angrily declares she will no longer put up with what she regards as his betrayal of her love.
Alessandro’s vanity extends to a claim that he is the son of the god Jupiter, and when one of his captains objects to this absurdity, Alessandro strikes him to the ground. Shocked, the two women unite in an attempt to calm Alessandro’s rage. The opening theme of their duet is similar to that of the last movement of the Recorder Sonata in C, Op 1 No 7.
Act II begins with Rossane alone in a garden, uncertain whether it is her or Lisaura whom Alessandro really loves. The music, with a full complement of woodwind (recorders, oboes and bassoons) begins with an atmospheric prelude leading into an accompanied recitative. The aria following is broken up with more recitative, and at the end Rossane sinks into a troubled sleep.
Lisaura has a more faithful lover than Alessandro in the person of the Indian King Tassile. He tries to persuade her that Alessandro will abandon her in favour of Rossane, but Lisaura says that her love for Alessandro is too strong for her to relinquish it, despite the torment it brings her. Her aria is in the style of a mournful siciliana, full of despair.
Meanwhile Alessandro’s high-handedness has provoked a conspiracy to assassinate him, and it is only by luck that he escapes being killed by the deliberately engineered collapse of the canopy above his throne. Rossane faints, convincing Alessandro of the depth of her love for him. His heart is all hers, he says, and she, left alone at the end of the Act, looks forward to being united with him.
from notes by Anthony Hicks © 1997