Skënderbeu was the subject of several baroque operas. Jean-Baptiste Lully started the trend of operas based on Christian heroes such as Amadis, Rolando, and Rinaldo as Louis XIV was getting more religious. This was a break from the usual tradition of having operas based on mythology. Composers after Lully continued this practice and other Christian hero operas were composed.
With the libretto by Antonio Salvi and music composed by Antonio Vivaldi, Scanderbeg was first performed in 1718. Alas, most of the music is lost to this opera. Here are two clips I found on youtube:
S'a voi penso, o luci belle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qJU4_9slz8
Con palme ed allori: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGjt7nFSRc8
The style of music is typical of the early late baroque. It includes: violins, violas, violoncellos, harpsichord, oboe, bassoon, and some horns. The continuous bass which you hear with the singer is the baroque basso continuo which includes the violoncello and harpsichord.
Vivaldi is not really known for his operas today but he wrote the scores to many operas although much of the music is lost to many of them.
Relatively unknown French composer François Francoeur also wrote the score to a Scanderbeg opera from 1735. I only know it exists, but I am not sure if the music survives or not.
"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460
Arias from the opera Scanderbeg by Antonio Vivaldi
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Re: Arias from the opera Scanderbeg by Antonio Vivaldi
Thank you! I love opera!
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