Ciro in Babilonia

Ciro in Babilonia, ossia La caduta di Baldassare (Cyrus in Babylon, or The Downfall of Belshazzar) in an opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Francesco Aventi. It was first performed at the Teatro Comunale, Ferrara during Lent, 1812. The exact date of the premiere is unknown but is believed to be March 14. During Lent it was the custom for Italian opera houses either to close or to stage works on themes from the Bible. Ciro in Babilonia is one of two Lenten operas by Rossini (along with Mosè in Egitto) and is based on the Biblical story of the overthrow of the Babylonian king Belshazzar by the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, March 14(?), 1812
(Conductor: - )
Baldassare, King of Assyria tenor Eliodoro Bianchi
Ciro, King of Persia contralto Marietta Marcolini
Almira, wife of Ciro, imprisoned by Baldassare soprano Elisabetta Manfredini-Guarmani
Argene, confidant of Almira mezzo-soprano Anna Savinelli
Zambri, Babylonian prince bass Giovanni Layner
Arbace, captain in Baldassare's army tenor Francesco Savinelli
Daniello, prophet bass Giovanni Fraschi


  • The Viking Opera Guide ed. Holden (1993)


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