La Merope is an opera seria in three acts by Geminiano Giacomelli with a libretto by Apostolo Zeno. It was dedicated to Karl August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont. It was first performed in 1734 at the Teatro Grimani di San Giovanni Grisostomo in Venice. The stage designer was Alessandro Mauro, the costume designer was Natale Canciani and the choreographer was Francesco Aquilante.
The opera contains the famous aria "Sposa, non mi conosci" sung by the character Epitide. It was later used by Vivaldi in his pasticcio Bajazet and it was now called "Sposa son disprezzata", because of the new text. Another aria is "Quell'usignolo" (also sung by Epitide) which also had been recorded many times, and the aria is also known for its difficult coloratura part. The full opera has never been recorded.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 1734|
|Polifonte, tyrant of Messene||tenor||Francesco Tolve|
|Merope, queen of Messene, widow of Cresfonte||contralto||Lucia Facchinelli|
|Epitide, son of Merope||soprano castrato||Carlo Broschi, known as Farinelli|
|Argia, princess of Aetolia||soprano||Maria Teresa Piori Fiorentina|
|Trasimede, Head of the Council of Messene||soprano castrato||Gaetano Majorano, known as Cafarelli|
|Licisco, ambassador of Aetolia||contralto
|Anassandro confidant of Polifonte||contralto castrato||Antonio Baldi|