We have here the exception to the traditional "M 22" rule (M22 refers to the collection of complete Mozart operas taped by Deutsche Grammophon in Salzburg last summer, and now available on DVD) whereby regardless of the stage production, the musical quality remains very strong. In this "Sogno", it is the other way round. The production is smart, witty, transposed in the 1920s, and always ALWAYS keep the interest of the audience high…By Autonome
After making his historic crossing of the Alps with elephants transporting supplies and troops, Hannibal marches on Rome in a war of revenge. During his advance, he captures Sylvia, the niece of Roman Senator Fabius Maximus but, instead of holding her prisoner, he shows her his powerful army and herds of elephants, then sets her free. He is sure she will report what she has seen to his Roman enemies. Hannibal defeats the Romans at the battle of Trebbia and sends a message to Sylvia that he is marching on Rome.
Scipione was the eighth complete opera Handel wrote for the Royal Academy of Music (it was also preceded by Muzio Scevola, of which Handel wrote only act III). Completed in 1726, it followed three of Handel’s greatest operas, Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano, and Rodelinda. While it is not on the level of those masterpieces, and despite its hasty composition, it contains much that is good and worthy of an occasional hearing.
FANFARE: Ron Salemi
Mussolini's government, in addition to making the railroads run on time (and other items not so good), could also produce a movie on a lavish scale, including over 6000 extras in the battle scenes. A story of the Second Punic Wars, beginning with Scipio's futile pleas to the Roman Senate to build an army to battle Hannibal, that climaxes with the battle of Zama.