He has come to the conclusion that the queen, Griselda, originally a woman from a much lower social class, is at the root of their unhappiness. He has doubts about whether he can go through with this but he convinces himself to stay the course. Ottone is in love with Griselda, and takes advantage of the situation to make a move on Griselda in her moment of weakness. Griselda rebuffs her and Ottone is knocked back by this rejection, but only temporarily.
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He has come to the conclusion that the queen, Griselda, originally a woman from a much lower social class, is at the root of their unhappiness. He has doubts about whether he can go through with this but he convinces himself to stay the course. Ottone is in love with Griselda, and takes advantage of the situation to make a move on Griselda in her moment of weakness.
Griselda rebuffs her and Ottone is knocked back by this rejection, but only temporarily. Costanza, who is to marry Gualtiero and become the new queen, arrives with her boyfriend Roberto in tow. Surprisingly, Gualtiero invites Roberto to stay in the palace to keep Costanza company. She is confused by this turn of events and Roberto tries to contain his sighs of love for her. Corrado, who works in the palace and seems to know everthing that is going on, urges Griselda to leave for her own good, but Griselda refuses until she gets to see her son Everardo, who has been taken away from her and is being kept elsewhere in the palace.
Ottone is furious and rushes off to hide Everardo from her once again. Corrado tries to reassure Griselda that everything will work out in the end. With Griselda overcome by fear and desperation, Ottone offers to give Griselda her child back if she agrees to marry Ottone. Griselda rejects Ottone a third time and challenges her to go on and kill the child. Corrado interrupts them but appears to side with Ottone. Ottone swears to having Griselda for herself, even if she has to resort to violent means.
She is torn between her two partners, between love and loyalty. Griselda is exhausted from her grief, wandering beneath the palace. She dreams of her daughter who was taken from her many years ago. When the king finds the two women together, Costanza convinces him to allow Griselda to live in the palace as her companion and servant.
Gualtiero reveals that Griselda is his former wife, but Costanza is still full of compassion for her. Corrado brings the news that Ottone has gathered an army and has marched on the palace to abduct Griselda. Griselda implores Gualtiero to protect her but he rejects her pleas and declares that she must be abandoned to her fate. Ottone overpowers Griselda, but Gualtiero then turns the tables on Ottone and accuses her of treason, which must be punished.
Griselda resigns herself to her new life as a servant in the palace. Griselda discovers Costanza and Roberto in an embrace and is appalled that Costanza is cheating on her new husband before the wedding has even taken place, but Gualtiero insists that Costanza is free to take whatever lovers she wishes, and Griselda must turn a blind eye to her infidelities. Gualtiero surprises Ottone with the news that Ottone will be free to marry Griselda once Gualtiero and Costanza are married.
Ottone is convinced that she will finally get what she deserves. Gualtiero is overcome with a range of emotions at the cruelty he has inflicted on Griselda as his plan nears its climax. Griselda is forced to arrange the wedding of her husband to his new wife. He declares to the people that Griselda has shown how worthy she is to be queen, and restores her to the throne.
Roberto and Costanza are told that they can be married, and Ottone realises she has been set up. After everything that has happened, nobody can be sure how things are going to work out in the end.
Act 1[ edit ] Years before the action begins, Gualtiero, King of Thessaly, had married a poor shepherdess, Griselda. Now, after the recent birth of a son has led to another rebellion from the Thessalians against Griselda as a queen, Gualtiero is forced to dismiss her and promises to take a new wife. The proposed bride is in fact Costanza, who is unaware of her true parentage and unknown to Griselda. Act 2[ edit ] Costanza sings of her torn affections betrothed to Gualtiero but in love with Roberto in the coloratura aria Agitata da due venti. Griselda returns to her home in the countryside where she is pursued by the villainous courtier Ottone, who is completely besotted with her and has surreptitiously fomented the popular uprisings in order to derail her marriage. She angrily rejects his advances. Act 3[ edit ] Ottone still resolutely pursues Griselda and Gualtiero promises him her hand as soon as he himself has married Costanza.
Vivaldi: Griselda, RV718