The libretto of Handel’s shortest opera is based on Plutarch’s account of the life of the cruel Roman consul and dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
He was a figure who went down in history above all for his reign of terror, his libertine life-style and his unexpected abdication and withdrawal to private life. As Sulla voluntarily declined his rulership, Handel was able to provide a “lieto fine” – the happy ending typical of Baroque opera.