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Chi soffre, speri (Let He Who Suffers Hope) or L'Egisto is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the Italianmarker composers Virgilio Mazzocchi and Marco Marazzoli. It has been described as the "first comic opera". The libretto, by Giulio Rospigliosi (the future Pope Clement IX), is based on Boccaccio. It was first performed at the Palazzo Barberinimarker, Romemarker on 12 February 1637. The surviving score is a revised version dating from 1639.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast
Egisto in love with Alvida castrato
Alvida a young widow soprano
Silvano Egisto's friend bass
Coviello Egisto's servant tenor
Zanni Egisto's servant tenor
Moschino Egisto's page soprano
Lucinda Alvida's servant, in love with Egisto soprano
Rosilda soprano


The impoverished Egisto is in love with the young widow Alvida. She rejects his advances unless he destroys the things dearest to him: a tower he has inherited and his favourite falcon. He does so and Alvida is so impressed by the strength of his love that she marries him. In the ruins of the tower they find buried treaure and a heliotrope which cures Alvida's desperately ill son. In a sub-plot, Lucinda, who is in love with Egisto, disguises herself as a man. She comes near to killing herself when Egisto rejects her but in the end it turns out that she is Egisto's long-lost sister.



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