Circe (Z 575)
Music for Act I, Scene IV
Editor: with an introduction by Peter Holman.
for S,A,T,B, soloists, SATB chorus, strings and continuo
Purcell's music for Circe is one of a number of operatic scenes set by him in what were otherwise conventional plays. This scene calls for three solo male priests (alto or high tenor, tenor and bass), two of Circe's women (soprano and alto), SATB choir which sings four choruses, with four-part strings and continuo.
In it Iphigenia, Priestess of Diana, has attracted the rival loves of King Thoas and Prince Ithacus (the son of Circe by a former marriage). Circe is furious and determines to summon up spirits to foretell the future....