60. La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

Opera in 4 acts By Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica, after Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henry Murger (1851) First performed: Teatro Rugin, Turin, 1 February 1896, conducted by Arturo Toscanini Dossier STORY RODOLFO, a poet (tenor) MARCELLO, a painter (baritone) SCHAUNARD, a musician (baritone) COLLINE, a philosopher (bass) MIMI (soprano) MUSETTA (soprano) SETTING: Paris, about 1830 Synopsis based … Continue reading 60. La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

57. L’Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi)

Favola in musica, in 5 acts Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Libretto: Alessandro Striggio First performed: Mantua, 1607 Carnival season Dossier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcRFFmgVGlc SYNOPSIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjpFi9bn1do Orfeo (Orpheus) is the world's first great musician, and the son of Apollo, god of the sun.  He has just married the nymph Euridice - but their happiness is blighted when she is … Continue reading 57. L’Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi)

54. L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti)

Melodramma giocoso in 2 acts Composer: Gaetano Donizetti Librettist: Felice Romani, after Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Le philtre, opera by Auber (1831) First performed: Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan, 12 May 1832 Dossier English language libretto Elisir was a rush job; the theatre commissioned the work after another composer defaulted.  Librettist Felice Romani adapted the book of Auber's Philtre, a … Continue reading 54. L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti)

53. Il giuramento (Saverio Mercadante)

Melodramma in 3 acts Composer: Saverio Mercadante Libretto: Gaetano Rossi, after Victor Hugo’s Angélo, tyran de Padoue First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 11 March 1837 Dossier   For lovers of Italian opera, Mercadante is the great neglected composer.  His reform operas are the missing link between bel canto and Verdi, and, for half a decade, made him Italy's maestro-in-chief.  … Continue reading 53. Il giuramento (Saverio Mercadante)

51. Il turco in Italia (Gioachino Rossini)

Dramma buffo in 2 acts By Gioachino Rossini Libretto: Felice Romani, after Caterino Mazzolà’s libretto for Franz Joseph Seydelmann’s opera (1788) First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 14 August 1814 Dossier Today, Il turco in Italia is one of the most commonly performed Rossini operas. - well below The Barber of Seville or La Cenerentola, perhaps, but respectably frequent. Its … Continue reading 51. Il turco in Italia (Gioachino Rossini)

45. I puritani (Vincenzo Bellini)

I PURITANI E I CAVALIERI Opera in 3 acts By Vincenzo Bellini Libretto: Carlo Pepoli, after Jacques-François Ancelot & Joseph Xavier Boniface (Saintine)’s Têtes rondes et Cavaliers (1833) First performed: Théâtre de la comédie italienne, Paris, 24 June 1835 Dossier "Carve into your head in adamantine letters," Bellini urged his librettist: "The opera must make people weep, shudder, die … Continue reading 45. I puritani (Vincenzo Bellini)

42. Isabeau (Pietro Mascagni)

Dramatic legend in 3 parts By Pietro Mascagni Libretto: Luigi Illica First performed: Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires, 2 June 1911, conducted by the composer Libretto, with English translation Mascagni is thought of as a one-hit wonder; Cavalleria rusticana ("Cav" for short) is one of the 50 most performed operas in the world, usually in a double bill with … Continue reading 42. Isabeau (Pietro Mascagni)