Scipione (Scipio)
  • George Frideric Handel. Opera in three acts. 1726.
  • Libretto by Paolo Antonio Rolli, based on a libretto by Antonio Salvi and on the histories of Livy.
  • First performance at the King’s Theatre, London, on 12th March 1726.

Berenice, daughter of King Ernando


Lucejo (Allucius), her lover

male alto

Scipione (Scipio), a Roman general

male alto

Lelio (Laelius), a Roman commander


Armira, captive of the Romans


Ernando, King of the Balearics


Scipio, in triumph, has conquered New Carthage. He is in love with the captive Berenice, but magnanimously releases her to her beloved Allucius, a Celtiberian Prince, while the Roman commander Laelius is finally united with his beloved Armira, released now from Roman captivity.

The overture and more particularly the march that precedes the first act of the opera are well enough known. Berenice, like later operatic heroines, remains firm as a rock against the suggestion of marriage to Scipio in her final second-act aria Scoglio d’immote fronte (Immovable as a rock). In the third-act Come al nazio boschetto (As to the native wood) Allucius expresses again his love for Berenice. Handel made various changes in the work for a revival in 1730, with Scipio now allotted to a tenor and a woman taking the part of Laelius.