69. Adriana Lecouvreur (Francesco Cilea)

ADRIANA LECOUVREUR Composer: Francesco Cilea Stageplay by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé reduced to 4 acts for the lyric stage by Arturo Colautti First performed: Teatro Lirico, Milan, 6 November 1902, conducted by Cleofonte Campanini Cilea slays it with flowers in this tale of love and rivalry in 18th century Paris. CHARACTERS MAURIZIO, conte di SASSONIA (tenor): … Continue reading 69. Adriana Lecouvreur (Francesco Cilea)

Ricciardo Vagniero

My friend Phil recently posted on a rarity: Loengrino, by the obscure Italian composer Ricciardo Vagniero. It is one of the most beautiful Italian operas I know, a testament to the glories of bel canto, a worthy successor to the heritage of Rossini and Donizetti. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfMdpfcBaxs Vagniero was a true son of Italy, a fertile vine … Continue reading Ricciardo Vagniero

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 TROVATOREBy Giuseppe VerdiLibretto: Salvatore Cammarano, completed by Leone Emanuele Bardare, based on Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez’s play El TrovadorFirst performed: Teatro Apollo, Rome, 19 January 1853 Il Trovatore is one of Verdi’s Big Three, the popular operas he composed in the early 1850s.  It’s also the odd one out.The works on either side – Rigoletto (1851) … 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   Di mia vendetta ho pieno il mondo…Ma indarno.  Il vile Ernesto,Il mio persecutor, vive ed esultaDell’ingiusto mio bando e di mie pene… Pirates!  Who doesn’t love a good pirate story?  Wooden-legged men, cursed … Continue reading 28. Il pirata – Vincenzo Bellini

22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

Opera in 4 actsBy Giuseppe VerdiLibrettist: Francesco Maria Piave, after Ángel de Saavedra'sDon 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.La forza del destino is a vast, even unwieldy, opera – and one of Verdi’s most difficult works.  He … Continue reading 22. La forza del destino (Giuseppe Verdi)

20. Tosca (Giacomo Puccini)

Melodrama in 3 actsBy Giacomo PucciniLibretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, after Victorien Sardou's play La Tosca (1887)First performed : Teatro Costanzi, Rome, 14 January 1900STORYFloria TOSCA, famous singer (soprano)Mario CAVARADOSSI, painter (tenor)Il Barone SCARPIA, Head of the Police (baritone)SETTING: Rome, June 1800Synopsis, based on English version by W. Beatty-Kingston, G. Ricordi & Co., New York, 1905ACT IThe Church … Continue reading 20. Tosca (Giacomo Puccini)