The aria “Sposa Son Disprezzata” appears in Antonio Vivaldi’s opera “Bajazet,” written in 1735. As a pasticcio-style work, this Italian opera was composed using various arias from different masterworks and composers. In the case of Vivaldi’s Sposa, the aria was borrowed from Giacomelli’s “La Merope.” The title of this work translates roughly to “I am a scorned wife.”
Vivaldi scores the aria for a grief-stricken wife (Irene), who longs for the love of her husband. Yet, Irene’s husband, Tamerlano, seeks the love of another woman, ignoring the vows he has taken with his wife. Tamerlano, a lord and conqueror, carelessly pawns off his wife in an effort to court his other love interest. Feeling alone and confused, Irene laments her husband’s infidelity.
In this version, Sposa Son Disprezzata is arranged for bassoon and piano by Arizona State University bassoon profesor Albie Micklich. To capture the transparency of the “scorned wife’s” song, the bassoon’s tessitura rests in the middle and high registers, most accurately portraying a voice-like timbre. A floating, melancholy character of the melody persists throughout the aria. Micklich and ASU faculty collaborative pianist Andrew Campbell premiered this arrangement in the fall of 2010 to a very receptive audience.
Solo parts included: Bassoon