81. Lakmé (Léo Delibes)

Opéra in 3 acts Composer: Léo Delibes Libretto: Edmond Gondinet & Philippe Gille First performed: Opéra-Comique, Paris, 14 April 1883, conducted by Jules Danbé.  Production: Charles Ponchard; sets: Auguste Rubé, Philippe Chaperon, Jean-Baptiste Lavastre, Antoine Lavastre, Eugène Carpezat; costumes: Théophile Thomas Dossier This is for Phil. CHARACTERS LAKMÉ, a priestess, daughter of Nilakantha (1st soprano): Marie Van … Continue reading 81. Lakmé (Léo Delibes)

80. Kamenny Gost {The Stone Guest} (Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

KAMENNY GOST {THE STONE GUEST} / Каменный гость Composer: Alexander Dargomyzhsky Libretto: Alexander Pushkin’s play (1830) First performed: Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, 16 February 1872 (Old Style), conducted by E.F. Nápravnik Dossier CHARACTERS DON JUAN (tenor): Fydor Komissarzhevsky LEPORELLO (bass):  Osip Petrov DONNA ANNA (soprano): Yuliya Platonova DON CARLOS (baritone): Ivan Melnikov LAURA (mezzo-soprano): Mariya Ilyina A MONK (bass): Vladimir Sobolev FIRST … Continue reading 80. Kamenny Gost {The Stone Guest} (Alexander Dargomyzhsky)

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)

77. Vendetta in domino

We talked last time about Auber's Gustave III (1833), a dramatic retelling of the assassination of 18th century Swedish king Gustave III at a masked ball. Several Italian composers loved the story, and wanted to adapt it. Bellini called it "magnificent, spectacular, historical!"; had he lived, it would have been his next project after I puritani.  One Vincenzo … Continue reading 77. Vendetta in domino

76. A masked ball

Gustav III, King of Sweden (r. 1771-1792), was an enlightened despot and lover of the arts, murdered in 1792 by a conspiracy of nobles. In many ways, Gustav was an attractive figure.  He was an enthusiast for Enlightenment ideals, particularly French writers like Voltaire.  He promoted free trade; encouraged religious tolerance, and, to a limited … Continue reading 76. A masked ball

75. Sāvitri (Gustav Holst)

Chamber opera in 1 act Composer & librettist: Gustav Holst First performed: Wellington Hall, London, 5 December 1916 (amateur performance) First professional performance: Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London, 23 June 1921, conducted by Arthur Bliss CHARACTERS SĀVITRI (soprano): Dorothy Silk SATYAVĀN, her husband (tenor): Steuart Wilson DEATH (bass): Clive Carey SETTING Ancient India STORY Sāvitri is the story of the loyal … Continue reading 75. Sāvitri (Gustav Holst)