Ercole amante—Hercules in Love. Commissioned for the wedding of Louis XIV to Maria Theresa of Spain, but unveiled two years later in 1662, Francesco Cavalli’s little-known romp played to the young sovereign’s penchant for viewing himself in mythological terms. Cavalli’s invention sparkles in fast-paced scenes both comic and tragic, with extensive kibitzing from the Greek gods. —L.J.
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