n In die Skriflig - Agrippina as prima donna : the reception of Agrippina, mother of Nero, in Handel’s opera Agrippina - research

Volume 53 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853



This article examines the way in which Agrippina, the mother of the emperor Nero, is depicted in Handel’s opera Agrippina. The opera’s libretto, written by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani, draws upon the historical information in Suetonius’ biography of Claudius and upon the events described in books 12 to 14 of Tacitus’ Annals. The article shows how Grimani juggled the chronology, events and relationships among the characters to omit the tragic and gruesome details, and to create a satirical comedy of succession.

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