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)

30. Il trovatore (Giuseppe Verdi)

IL TROVATORE By Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Salvatore Cammarano, completed by Leone Emanuele Bardare, based on Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez’s play El Trovador First performed: Teatro Apollo, Rome, 19 January 1853 Dossier SYNOPSIS The backdrop of the opera is the Spanish wars of the early fifteenth century.  After Martin I of Aragon died in 1410 without surviving … Continue reading 30. Il trovatore (Giuseppe Verdi)

28. Il pirata – Vincenzo Bellini

IL PIRATA Opera seria in 2 acts By Vincenzo Bellini Libretto: Felice Romani First performed: La Scala, Milan, 27 October 1827 Dossier. SYNOPSIS Di mia vendetta ho pieno il mondo… Ma indarno.  Il vile Ernesto, Il mio persecutor, vive ed esulta Dell’ingiusto mio bando e di mie pene… Pirates!  Who doesn’t love a good pirate … Continue reading 28. Il pirata – Vincenzo Bellini

22. La forza del destino – Giuseppe Verdi

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO Opera in 4 acts By Giuseppe Verdi Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave, after Ángel de Saavedra's Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835) First performed: Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia, 10 November 1862. Revised version: La Scala, Milan, 27 February 1869. Reception: The premiere in St Petersburg was only a … Continue reading 22. La forza del destino – Giuseppe Verdi

20. Tosca – Giacomo Puccini

TOSCA Melodrama in 3 acts By Giacomo Puccini Libretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, after Victorien Sardou's play La Tosca (1887) First performed : Teatro Costanzi, Rome, 14 January 1900 Dossier. COMMENTARY Tosca is one of a half-dozen operas that everyone knows: the one where an opera singer (performed by an opera singer) performs "Vissi d'arte", … Continue reading 20. Tosca – Giacomo Puccini

16. Macbeth – Giuseppe Verdi

MACBETH Dramma lirico in 4 acts By Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei, after Shakespeare’s play (1606) First performed: Teatro della Pergola, Florence, 14 March 1847 Revised version: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 21 April 1865 Dossier. RECORDINGS Watch: The 1986 film starring Shirley Verrett and Leo Nucci, conducted by Riccardo Chailly: https://youtu.be/curVq0MBtcc&w=640&h=385 Listen … Continue reading 16. Macbeth – Giuseppe Verdi

15. Germania – Alberto Franchetti

GERMANIA Dramma lirico in a prologue, 2 scenes, and an epilogue By Alberto Franchetti Libretto : Luigi Illica First performed : Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 11 March 1902 Reception: Franchetti’s most popular work.  At its première, considered the “work of a great artist” – but the audience thought the opera emphasized the patriotic theme to the detriment … Continue reading 15. Germania – Alberto Franchetti