67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR Komische Operette in 1 act - KV 486 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger First performed: Schönnbrunn Palace, Vienna, 7 February 1786; Kärntnertor Theater, Vienna, 11 February 1786 Dossier An imperial command is hard to refuse.  Mozart, halfway through a little number called The Marriage of Figaro, was ordered to compose after-dinner … Continue reading 67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

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)

18. Sadko (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

SADKO           (Садко)Opera-bylina in 7 tableauxBy Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovLibretto: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, with the assistance of Vladimir Stasov, Vasily Yastrebtsev, Nikolai Shtrup, Nikolai Findeyzen, and Vladimir BelskyCompiled from the bylina Sadko, the Rich Trader, the Tale of the Sea King and the Wise Vasilisa, The Book of the Dove and other ancient ballads and Russian talesFirst performed: Solodovnikov … Continue reading 18. Sadko (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKGqnt_VNiI&w=640&h=385 Verdi, like Berlioz and Wagner, was a Shakespeare fanboy. “He is my favourite poet,” he told a … 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 English / Italian libretto STORY A gripping historical opera by the rival of Puccini. GIOVANNI FILIPPO PALM (bass) FEDERICO LOEWE, student (tenor) CARLO WORMS, student (baritone) CRISOGONO, student (baritone) RICKE (soprano) JANE, her sister (mezzo-soprano) LENE … Continue reading 15. Germania (Alberto Franchetti)

14. Torvaldo e Dorliska (Gioachino Rossini)

TORVALDO E DORLISKA Dramma semiserio in 2 acts By Gioachino Rossini Libretto: Cesare Sterbini, after Francesco Gonella’s Lodoïska First performed: Teatro Valle, Rome, 26 December 1815 Reception: Fiasco - but remained in the repertoire until the 1830s, and was performed throughout Europe. REVIEW One doesn’t think of Rossini as a Socialist, calling for the workers … Continue reading 14. Torvaldo e Dorliska (Gioachino Rossini)

13. La scala di seta (Gioachino Rossini)

LA SCALA DI SETA Farsa in 1 act By Gioachino Rossini Libretto: Giuseppe Maria Foppa First performed: Teatro San Moisè, Venice, 9 May 1812 Notes: Rossini's fifth performed opera. Reception: Muted.  Critics thought the libretto was plagiarised, and the opera vanished after 1825.  Resurrected in 1952, it is now frequently performed.  (Charles Osborne, Bel Canto … Continue reading 13. La scala di seta (Gioachino Rossini)