121. La verità in cimento (Vivaldi)

Opera in 3 acts Composer: Antonio Vivaldi Libretto: Giovanni Palazzi First performed: Teatro Sant’Angelo, Venice, Autumn 1720   The sultan Mahmoud’s wife Rustena and his mistress Damira each give birth on the same day.  The concubine, with the sultan’s knowledge, swaps her baby with the queen’s; both women bring up the wrong child as their … Continue reading 121. La verità in cimento (Vivaldi)

120. L’incoronazione di Dario (Vivaldi)

Dramma per musica in 3 acts Composer: Antonio Vivaldi Libretto: Adriano Morselli First performed: Teatro Sant'Angelo, Venice, 23 January 1717 A simple word association test: Vivaldi ... Anyone not think of the Four Seasons? Vivaldi was, though, more than just an instrumental composer; he was a priest (his severe asthma forced him to leave the … Continue reading 120. L’incoronazione di Dario (Vivaldi)

103. Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi)

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Libretto: Giacomo Baodaro First performed: Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, 1639–1640 Carnival season Il ritorno d'Ulisse is rather like a Shakespearean Romance: a part-melancholic, part-comic story of gods, castaways, shipwrecks, transformations, perilous voyages, and disguises, which ends, after many years, with a family reunited. Based on Homer’s Odyssey, the opera tells of the hero’s … Continue reading 103. Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi)

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)

66. Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)

Lyric drama in 3 acts and 5 scenesComposer: Giacomo PucciniLibrettists: Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni, after Carlo Gozzi's commedia dell'arte Chinoiserie Turandotte (1762)First performed: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 25 April 1926Turandot was Puccini's last opera: a dream-like work set in Ancient China about a frigid princess who beheads her suitors, a nameless prince, a masochistic slave-girl, … Continue reading 66. Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)

65. Caterina Cornaro (Gaetano Donizetti)

CATERINA CORNARO Opera seria in a prologue and two acts By Gaetano Donizetti Libretto: Giacomo Saccherò First performed: Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 12 January 1844 Great minds think alike; my friend Phil posted about this opera on his blog this morning. "I am waiting with anxiety the news of the fiasco of Caterina Cornaro at Naples," Donizetti wrote … Continue reading 65. Caterina Cornaro (Gaetano Donizetti)

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 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 hit … Continue reading 54. L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti)