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From the beginning of opera in 17th century Italy, composers established conventions that would persist for more than a century, not least of which was the Prologue, an introductory scene featuring an allegorical personification commenting on the action to come, hearkening back to the chorus of ancient Greek drama. Italian soprano Francesca Aspromonte has selected opening scenes from Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Giulio Caccini's L'Euridice, Francesco Cavalli's La Didone, and nine other operas from the early Baroque era, ...

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  1. La favola d'Orfeo, opera, SV 318: Toccata and Prologue Dal mio Permesso amato (La Musica)
  2. Euridice, opera: Prologue Io che d'alti sospir (La Tragedia)
  3. La Didone, opera: Sinfonia and Prologue Caduta Troia (Iride)
  4. L'Eritrea, opera: Prologue Nelle grotte arimaspe (Iride)
  5. Il Sant'Alessio, opera: Sinfonia and Prologue Roma son io (Roma)
  6. Il palazzo incantato, or La guerriera amante, opera: Prologue Vaghi rivi (La Pittura)
  7. L'Ormindo, opera: Sinfonia and Prologue Non mi Patria l'Olimpo (L'Armonia)
  8. Il pomo d'oro, opera in a prologue & 4 acts: Sinfonia and Prologue Amore et Imeneo (La Gloria Austriaca)
  9. Sinfonia for 2 violins & basso continuo in A major
  10. L'Argia, opera in a prologue & 3 acts: Sinfonia e Prologo De' gotici splendori (Amore)
  11. Con meste luci, prologue for voice & orchestra
  12. Gli equivoci in amore, o vero La Rosaura, opera ("La Rosalba"): Sinfonia and Prologue Cessate, oh fulmini! (Venere)
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