Ercole alla corte del Re Sole: l’Ercole amante di Francesco Buti e le sue fonti


  • Matteo Agnosini


Hercules at the Court of the Sun King: Francesco Buti’s Ercole amanteand its sourcesErcole amante is the opera in a prologue and five acts by the Venetiancomposer Francesco Cavalli which was commissioned by CardinalMazarin to celebrate the marriage of the French King Louis XIV tothe Spanish Infanta Maria Theresa in 1660. Due to several delays, theopera was performed for the first time only about two years later, on the7th February 1662, and was not very well received. The Italian libretto,penned by the abbé Francesco Buti, is based on the classical myth concerningHercules’ love for Iole, his death and apotheosis. Buti’s librettoappears to rely on a wide range of classical, medieval and Renaissancesources. This article analyses Buti’s libretto paying particular attentionto the ways in which Buti integrates, reworks and makes to interact thecues and themes provided by different sources, mainly Ovid’s Metamorphosesand Heroides IX, the Hercules Oetaeus and some mythographicalworks such as Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris and Genealogiedeorum gentilium, and Conti’s Mythologiae.