Stefano Landi, a younger contemporary of Monteverdi, composed this opera for the household of a Roman cardinal in the 1630s. The DVD has been the highlight of our watching this year. The all male cast produces a stunning sound, and the sets are good.
The plot of course is ludicrous, though based on the legend of a saint very popular in his time. Alessio leaves home on his wedding night to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, then years later comes back and gets permission to live as a hermit under the stairs in his father's house. Of course, no-one recognises him (as if!). The opera starts at this point, with his wife and parents still lamenting him, the servants mocking him as a useless fool, and the devil tempting him to give it all up and reveal himself to his family. But of course he doesn't - heaven is his goal, and if he falters now, so near his death, he will lose it all. The devil has all the best lines.
If you want a treat, and you like early music, this is for you.