94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in a prologue and three acts Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave, with additions by Giuseppe Montanelli, after Antonio García Gutiérrez's play Simón Bocanegra First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 12 March 1857 Revised version: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 24 March 1881, with additions and alterations by Arrigo Boito "I've had a fiasco in … Continue reading 94. Simon Boccanegra (Giuseppe Verdi)

90. Maria di Rudenz (Gaetano Donizetti)

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti Libretto: Salvadore Cammarano, after Anicet-Bourgeois, Cuvelier & Maillan’s La nonne sanglante; Matthew Lewis’ The Monk First performed: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 30 January 1838 Maria di Rudenz is, Charles Osborne says, "complex, overwrought, and grisly" - and, in the cold light of day, it certainly seems lurid. Fratricide; a soprano who dies three times  (she comes … Continue reading 90. Maria di Rudenz (Gaetano Donizetti)

85. Caritea, regina di Spagna (Saverio Mercadante)

Melodramma serio in 2 acts Composer: Saverio Mercadante Libretto: Paolo Pola First performed: Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 21 February 1826 CHARACTERS CARITEA (soprano): Ester Mombelli DON ALFONSO, King of Portugal (tenor): Domenico Donzelli DON DIEGO, under the name of Don Pirro of Aragon, son of Don Fernando (contralto): Isabella Fabbrica DON FERNANDO, old Spanish captain general (bass): Domenico Cosselli DON RODRIGO, … Continue reading 85. Caritea, regina di Spagna (Saverio Mercadante)

84. The prolific Pacini in Pompei

Giovanni Pacini may hold the record as the 19th century's most prolific opera composer.  His contemporaries reckoned he'd written a hundred works; closer attention whittled this down to a more manageable 74. Nearly all of them have been forgotten. “This abandonment,” Arthur Pougin (Le Ménestrel, 28 October 1866) wrote, “is the just punishment that awaits a man … Continue reading 84. The prolific Pacini in Pompei

83. Pelagio (Saverio Mercadante)

PELAGIO Tragedia lirica in 4 acts Composer: Saverio Mercadante Libretto: Marco D’Arienzo First performed: Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 12 February 1857 Dossier CHARACTERS PELAGIO (baritone): Filippo Coletti ABDEL-AOR, governor of Gijón (tenor): Lodovico Graziani BIANCA, Pelagio’s daughter (soprano): Fortunata Tedesco GIRALDA, Bianca’s companion (contralto): Schiavi ASAN, captain of the Moors (bass): Marco Arati ALIATAR, guard on Abdel’s rooms (bass): Nicola Monti MENDO … Continue reading 83. Pelagio (Saverio Mercadante)

79. La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (Francesca Caccini)

LA LIBERAZIONE DI RUGGIERO DALL’ISOLA D’ALCINA Commedia in musica: Prologue and 4 scenes Composer: Francesca Caccini Libretto: Ferdinando Saracinelli, based on Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso First performed: Villa di Poggio Imperiale, Florence, 3 February 1625 Dossier COMMENTARY This morning, we talked about the first opera written by a non-white / non-European: Carlos Gomes' Il Guarany. Here's the first opera … Continue reading 79. La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (Francesca Caccini)

78. Il Guarany (Antônio Carlos Gomes)

IL GUARANY Opera-ballo in 4 acts Composer: Antônio Carlos Gomes Libretto: Antonio Scalvini First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 19 March 1870 Dossier CHARACTERS Don ANTONIO DE MARIZ, old Portuguese hidalgo (bass): Teodoro Coloni CECILIA, his daughter (soprano): Marie Sass PERY, chief of the Guarany tribe (tenor): Giuseppe Villani Don ALVARO, Portuguese adventurer (tenor): Giuseppe Masato GONZALES, Spanish adventurer, Don Antonio's … Continue reading 78. Il Guarany (Antônio Carlos Gomes)