Amor Commanda from Floridante – Handel – Track 1



With Russell Lomas In Bury, February 2014


One of my favourite soprano arias from my current repertoire is from the three act Opera ‘Floridante’ by Handel, ‘Amor Commanda’ and the recit ‘Servasi alla mia bella’; it is sung by the character ‘Timante’ in Act III; it’s had nearly 10,000 plays on my Soundcloud page, and it is also the first song I recorded on my cd Canzoni D’Amore (songs of love), so I thought I’d give a bit more information about the aria and the opera.
The opera is set in Persia.

There are six main roles:

Oronte, the King of Persia (bass), his daughters:

Elmira/Elisa (a contralto)

Rossane (a soprano)

Floridante, Prince of Thrace (alto/castrato) betrothed to Elmira

Timante, Prince of Tyre (soprano/castrato) betrothed to Rossane

Coralbo, Persian satrap (bass)



Years before the opera story begins Rossane’s  father  Oronte, a Persian general had staged a coup and murdered the King of Persia, Nino, stealing his throne and adopting his baby daughter Elisa as his own renaming her Elmira.  When the his own daughter Rossane and Elmira were of marriageable age they were to be betrothed to princes of nearby kingdoms.  Oronte had fallen in love himself with his adopted daughter and no longer wanted her to marry her betrothed prince Floridante from Thrace, a warrior in the cause of Oronte.

The kingdom of Tyre and Persia also went to war, so Rosanne’s wedding to Timante (who she’d not met having an arranged marriage for reasons of diplomacy) was also looking unlikely.  Coralbo, a Persian satrap (from the Latin word satrapes) – meaning a provincial governor, usually of nobility, gives Floridante a letter from King Oronte saying that ‘for reasons of state’ his marriage to his daughter Elmira has been cancelled and commands him to leave the Country.

Timante, the betrothed of Rossane was believed to have been lost in battle.  Rossane doesn’t lose faith and believes she will be united.  Floridante returns triumphant from the battle with Tyre, he brings back a captive Glicone (who is Timante in disguise) saved for his skill in battle.  He presents his captive to Rossane, to whom Glicone confides his true identity and swears undying love to her.

In Act 2 when Oronte declares his love for Elmira, telling her that she is to be his bride, she is distraught; she tells her adopted father that he is a monster.  He tells her she is not his daughter.

In Act 3, Rossane tried to help her sister Elmira, proclaimed that even though they are not blood sisters they are joined till death by love.  When Coralbo, discovers Elmira’s true identity he says the love of the Persian people for her family might make her Queen.   Rossane and Timante begin to organise a coup in order for the two sisters and their betrothed to escape.  Elmira goes to the imprisoned Floridante with a cup of poison which she had been told to administer to him, instead intending to drink it herself, Oronte enters and takes the cup from her hand.  Timante and Coralbo enter arresting the King and proclaim Elmira Queen of Persia.  Floridante the opera does have a happy ending; one of the most popular Elmira’s with fabulous reviews is Joyce DiDonato.

Here is a video of my performance of “Amor Commanda” from Bury, February 2014.

Here is a translation of Recitative and then the Aria into English ( source )

Let me dedicate myself to my beloved,
And devote myself to this noble aim.
Love in great souls is never
An obstacle to great endeavours,
And is even of greater value
When love and faith are the rewards of the beloved.

Love commands, honour guides,
A nobler principle in leading one’s life
Does not exist.
The soul, already afire with thoughts of glory
Speeds towards its goal,
Assured of victory.

64 thoughts on “Amor Commanda from Floridante – Handel – Track 1

  1. Lyrical and beautiful interpretation, Charlotte. I especially appreciate the way you made the low notes as audible and round as the high notes, something not all 1st soprano’s can do. Not the common opera either. Lovely work.

  2. I have always loved classical music and operatic pieces. But, not knowing what was being sang, always had me wondering. I will wonder no longer! 🙂 Love watching the videos with my little wildflower. Just passing the love of classical music down to my child. Just like my mother did for me.

      1. you’re welcome Charlotte….Je t’en prie.

        yes , it’s correct, just in french it’s better ‘ton soutien et tes encouragements” one support, always the same, never let you down.., and many encouragements witch could be differrents……

  3. Your voice seems to get better and better. A beautiful rendition. Handel has always been a favorite, especially his Water Music. I have loved the baroques for a very long time, especially Handel, Vivaldi and, of course, Johann Sebastian.

  4. I love individual Handel arias, but I have to admit I struggle with whole operas. His habit of telling you everything once, twice, three times… and then once more for luck, gets after a while. That was a very good synopsis of the plot – I’ve never seen Floridante, but I might give a chance now.

    1. Thanks Hilary, happy endings appeal to me. I like to sing Handel’s music ‘Come unto Him’ is another favourite I’ve not seen many Handel operas but I’ll probably chuckle now if I feel I’m being told for the third time what’s happening 🙂

      Best wishes

  5. I can see why you love this piece enough to put so much work into it! Hearing its story and history behind it really helps me appreciate it even more…I haven’t heard/seen a lot of your work, but I am loving it! You have such a strong, beautiful voice for someone so petite..very talented! I would like to hear more 🙂

      1. Yes, in the production Joyce DiDonato was in Roberta Invernizzi an Italian Soprano played the Prince, they could also use a Countertenor I guess but I’m not sure if they do.

  6. exquisite! vocal and piano… thank you so very much for sharing, it transports me into another world to hear you sing… a world of beauty and excitement

    1. Thank you Trent I was surprised, many people advise me to sing more well known arias and songs but for me it’s about sharing this beautiful music as I discover it.

      Best wishes

  7. I’ve been out of circulation for a while, but what a most pleasant surprise to greet me on my feed! I love that you take the time to explain the story line and translate the verses to help your audience to appreciate the beauty in this art form. And of course, your voice is beautiful. Well done!

    1. Phil so nice to see you again, I did pop into your blog a couple of times and guessed you were still busy I miss seeing your cheerful gravatar and reading your posts. Thank you.

      est wishes

  8. This is a dizzying tale, Charlotte. I had to read it a few times to follow what was going on. And how do you marry someone you’ve never met? Yikes! Plus, isn’t falling in love with your adopted daughter illegal? 🙂 Oronte, goodness man, snap out of it. But if I was betrothed to someone and the father cancelled on me, I would have came after him. The whole army, I’m going to get my wife. Still, that’s weird. How do you know you’ll love someone you’ve never hung around? I don’t like that betrothed rule.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your song as usual. I wonder how young you were when you had your first performance like this. Have a Happy Monday. 🙂

    1. Perhaps in that sort of environment the parents and nanny’s talk of all the positive traits of your betrothed for years before you finally meet them so you feel like you know them and fall in love with the idea of them.

      In my teens but as I’ve got older the songs get easier to sing, I didn’t do too many performances at school it was more about learning the repertoire and getting the feedback from adjudicators in those days.

      Best wishes

  9. Thanks for mapping out the story line to this opera and what a story that was! I am sure it is not the depraved tale in that genre either.

    Your vocal performance was wonderful as well!

    1. I loved this quote from your blog “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will. – George Bernard Shaw”. I do enjoy what I do you’re right 🙂

      Best wishes

  10. I enjoyed reading the translation as often it is the emotions of the singer that lets me understand what is going on. Thank you for honoring our children’s site by visiting it, we are really delighted to have your input into it.

  11. Just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I know you don’t celebrate it across the pond but that’s okay. We do. It’s tomorrow. So have a good one.

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