Gaetano Donizetti  
Gaetano Donizetti

Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti, in full Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (born Nov. 29, 1797, Bergamo, Cisalpine Republic—died April 8, 1848, Bergamo, Lombardy, Austrian Empire), Italian opera composer whose numerous operas in both Italian and French represent a transitional stage in operatic development between Rossini and Verdi. Among his major works are Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), La fille du régiment (1840), and La favorite (1840). In his serious operas he developed considerably the dramatic weight and emotional content of the genre, and his comic operas have a sparkling wit and gaiety all their own.

Gaetano Donizetti

Early life.

The youngest of three sons of the caretaker of the monte di pieta (the municipal pawnshop), Donizetti began his musical studies with Giovanni Simone Mayr, a Bavarian priest who was musical director of Sta. Maria Maggiore, Bergamo’s chief church, and also a successful composer of opera. As a choirboy Donizetti did not shine, but Mayr perceived in him a nascent musical ability and secured his entry into the Liceo Filarmonico (the music school) at Bologna, where he had a thorough training in fugue and counterpoint. His father hoped he would become a church composer, but, though he did compose a vast quantity of sacred music, his natural instinct was for the theatre.

Donizetti scored his first success with Enrico di Borgogna, which first appeared in 1818 at the Teatro San Luca, in Venice, and during the next 12 years he composed no fewer than 31 operas, most of them produced at Naples and now forgotten. In 1830 his Anna Bolena, produced in Milan, carried his fame abroad to all the European capitals and eventually across the Atlantic. Two years later he scored another lasting success with L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), a comedy full of charm and character with a libretto by Felice Romani, the best theatre poet of the day. Lucrezia Borgia (1833), also with a libretto by Romani, consolidated his reputation at La Scala in Milan and elsewhere. Like the opera composers Gioacchino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini before him, he next gravitated to Paris, where his Marino Faliero, though not a failure, suffered from comparison with Bellini’s I Puritani, produced a few weeks before. Donizetti then returned to Naples for the production of his tragic masterpiece, Lucia di Lammermoor, on Sept. 26, 1835.

In 1828 Donizetti had married Virginia Vasseli, the sister of one of his closest friends in Rome; they made their home in Naples. He was deeply devoted to her and never really recovered his spirits after her death, soon after the stillbirth of a son, in 1837. His distress was exacerbated by the fact that none of the three children born to them survived birth. It seems clear that syphilis, to which Donizetti himself later succumbed, was already taking its toll of his family.

Gaetano Donizetti by Giuseppe Rillosi


Success in Paris.
Donizetti continued to work in Naples until 1838, when municipal censors objected to the production of his Poliuto, which dealt with a Christian martyr, on the ground that the sacred subject was unsuitable for the stage. He thereupon returned to Paris, where the field had been cleared for him by Bellini’s early death and Rossini’s retirement. There he revived some of his best operas, though Lucrezia Borgia had to be withdrawn because of objections by Victor Hugo, on whose drama the libretto was based. Poliuto was produced in 1840 as Les Martyrs with a French text by Eugène Scribe. It was preceded two months earlier by the opéra comique La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment), which gained enormous popularity over the years through the performances of the leading sopranos of the day, including Jenny Lind, Adelina Patti, Marcella Sembrich, Emma Albani, and other divas of the 19th century. Later in the same year the Paris Opéra produced La favorite, Donizetti’s first essay in French grand opera.

Bartolomeo Merelli, a fellow pupil of Donizetti, was now director of La Scala and also of the Kärnthnerthor Theater, in Vienna. He engaged Donizetti to compose an opera for La Scala. The work, Maria Padilla, was produced in 1841 only a few weeks before the famous premiere of Verdi’s Nabucco. Merelli also commissioned an opera for his Viennese theatre. There, Linda di Chamounix, a romantic opera semiseria, was produced in 1842 and dedicated to the empress Maria Anna. Donizetti had already been brought to the notice of the emperor Ferdinand I by his chancellor, Prince Metternich, and had conducted Rossini’s Stabat Mater in his presence. He now received the appointment of official composer to the Emperor, which obliged him to be in Vienna for six months in the year but left him free to work elsewhere during the rest. At the same time Rossini, who had always furthered Donizetti’s interests in Paris and entrusted to him the first performance of his Stabat Mater at Bologna, urged him to undertake the vacant directorship of the Liceo in that city. But Donizetti felt that he could not undertake this responsibility and preferred to continue his profitable operatic career. Back in Paris, he produced at the Théâtre Italien the delightful and witty comic opera, Don Pasquale.

Virginia Vasselli,
wife of Gaetano Donizetti,
c. 1820


Physical breakdown
But Donizetti was already in the grip of his fatal disease. He produced his last important opera, Dom Sébastien, with a libretto by Scribe, at the Paris Opéra in 1843 under the strain of constant headaches and occasional lapses of mental capacity. He suddenly aged, lost his good looks and his equability of temper, which had hitherto seen him through the trials of operatic production. Dom Sébastien, though unfavourably reviewed in the press, was nonetheless a success with the public.

The remaining years were a story of degeneration into hopeless insanity. As a patient in a private asylum near Paris, he had considerable difficulties with the French police, who were supported by the doctors; he was at last taken home to Bergamo by his devoted nephew Andrea, son of his eldest brother. He lingered on until April 8, 1848, a victim of general paralysis of the syphilitic insane, deprived of willpower, speech, and physical control. It was a pitiable end for a gay and handsome man who, unlike Bellini, was never envious of the successes of other composers and at all times displayed an openhearted generosity. To the French composer Hector Berlioz, for example, whose criticisms in Le Journal des Débats were consistently hostile, he spontaneously sent a letter of introduction to Prince Metternich, when Berlioz was about to leave for Vienna.

Donizetti always won more favour with the public than with the critics. During his lifetime his success was enormous and the rewards considerable. His popularity continued until the end of the century, but by 1914 his operas had almost disappeared from the repertory, overshadowed by the more substantial masterpieces of Verdi and Richard Wagner. In the 1950s there was a revival of interest in his works, after which it seemed unlikely that, at least, Lucia di Lammermoor, L’elisir d’amore, and Don Pasquale would be allowed to pass into oblivion.

Dyneley Hussey


75 including Alfredo il Grande (1823); Emilia di Liverpool (1824); Le convenienze e le inconvenienze teatrali (1827); Il borgomastro di Sardaam (1827); La regina di Golconda (1828); Il giovedì grasso (1828); Il castello di Kenilworth (after Scott, 1829); Anna Bolena (1830); L’elisir d’amore (1832); Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo (1833); Torquato Tasso (1833); Lucrezia Borgia (1833); Maria Stuarda (1834); Gemma di Vergy (1834); Marino Faliero (after Byron, 1835); Lucia di Lammermoor (after Scott, 1835); Belisario (1836); Il campanello di notte (1836); Betly (1836); Pia de’ Tolomei (1837); Roberto d’Evereux, Conte d’Essex (1837); Poliuto (1840); La fille du régiment (1840); La favorite (1840); Linda di Chamounix (1842); Don Pasquale (1843); Maria di Rohan (1843); Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal (1843).

Other works.
Two oratorios, several cantatas, religious pieces, at least 20 string quartets, three string quintets, and numerous songs.

Encyclopædia Britannica



The opera composer and conductor Johann Mayr recognized the talent m the spirited young Donizetti. He took him from an impoverished and unmusical background in the streets of his birthplace, Bergamo, in northern Italy, to give him a thorough musical education. As he neared adulthood Donizetti studied for two years in Bologna with Padre Mattel, the renowned counterpoint teacher. Although benefiting musically, Donizetti found the old priest somewhat dour, and he reserved his lifelong affection exclusively for his original teacher.

Donizetti returned to Bergamo in 1817 and worked swiftly on a variety of compositions, often completing one in a single day. The string quartets of this period show him as a prodigiously gifted apprentice. It was in his eventual output of some 70 operas, however, that he showed his true mastery.

In 1818 he evaded conscription with an exemption bought by a wealthy admirer and took employment in Venice, where his first opera was produced that year. His first significant success came with Zoraida di Granata in Rome in 1822, the commission having been passed on to him by his old teacher Mayr. This secured a series of commissions from Naples including, in 1826, a contract for four operas a year. With poor librettos, however, no masterpieces resulted.

The year 1830 was a good one for Donizetti. His Anna Bolena brought him international fame for the first time, and Rossini's retirement from opera composition gave him supremacy in the field for the next decade. From Rossini he inherited the characteristic bel canto (melodic singing) style — often featuring coloratura passages — and his own rapid craftsmanship enabled him to complete the enduring comedy L'elisir d 'amore m 1832 in less than a month. The price of this facility, however, was a lack of consistent dramatic power. This was true even m the more serious Lucia di Lammermoor of 1835, based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott and containing the famous "Mad Scene." Nevertheless, its sextet provides a moving and masterful climax to what is probably his greatest work.

Relations between Donizetti and his Neapolitan patrons became strained in the 1830s. Donizetti broke his contract in 1832 and. although a new one was drawn up in 1834, the authorities in Naples objected to his next opera, Maria Stuarda, and the consequent rapid revision ruined the first production. Then, in 1837, Virginia, his beloved wife since 1 828, died of cholera. His new work, Poliuto. was banned for depicting the martyrdom of a saint, and so a grieving, dispirited Donizetti finally left Naples for Paris.

The Parisians greeted him warmly, mounting productions of his works in four of the city's theatres, much to the disgust of Berlioz and other French composers. Donizetti responded with the composition of a number of his best operas, culminating in his last great work, the three-act comic masterpiece Don Pasquale, first produced in Milan in 1843.

By then he had secured the position of Kapellmeister to the Hapsburg Court in Vienna, but had also begun to suffer worsening symptoms of a syphilitic illness that attacked his nervous system. By the end of 1843 he was incapable of further composition, and Parisian doctors declared him insane the following year. Through the persistent efforts of his nephew he was eventually taken back to his native Bergamo, where friends cared for him until his death.


01 Poliuto ( 09:45 )
02 Alina,regina di Golconda ( 05:19 )
03 Torquato Tasso ( 09:59 )
04 Adelia ( 06:14 )
05 Il fortunato inganno ( 04:06 )
06 La fille du regiment ( 06:23 )
07 Anna Bolena ( 07:17 )
08 Gianni di Parigi ( 06:30 )
09 Gemma di Vergy ( 07:25 )
10 Alahor in Granata ( 06:29 )
11 Elisabetta ( Otto mesi in due ore ossia gli esiliati in Siberia ) ( 06:41 )
12 Fausta ( 07:21 )
13 Olivo e Pasquale ( 07:03 )
14 Zoraida di Granata ( 08:15 )
15 Rosmonda d'Inghilterra ( 06:53 )
16 Roberto Devereux ( 06:53 )
17 Pietro il Grande ( 06:31 )
18 Maria di Rohan ( 10:09 )
19 Linda di Chamounix ( 07:39 )
20 La favorita ( 05:39 )
21 Il borgomastro di Saardam ( 06:13 )
22 Belisario ( 05:50 )
23 Betly ( 03:41 )
24 Don Pasquale ( 06:59 )
25 Maria Stuarda ( 06:51 )
26 Ugo conte di Parigi ( 07:57 )
27 L'ajo nell'imbarazzo ( 04:15 )

Instrumental concertos - Gaetano Donizetti
01 Sinfonia a soli instrumenti di fiato in G minor- Andante ( 05:46 )
02 Concertino in C minor for flute and chamber orchestra- Largo - Allegro ( 08:56 )
03 Concertino in F major for oboe and chamber orchestra- I. Andante ( 05:23 )
04 Concertino in F major for oboe and chamber orchestra- II. Allegro ( 02:38 )
05 Concertino in D minor for violin, cello and orchestra- I. Allegro ma non troppo ( 07:00 )
06 Concertino in D minor for violin, cello and orchestra- II. Andante ( 01:27 )
07 Concertino in D minor for violin, cello and orchestra- III. Rondo. Allegro ( 03:05 )
08 Concertino in G major for cor anglais and orchestra- Andante con variazioni ( 11:13 )
09 Concertino in B flat major for clarinet and orchestra- I. Andante sostenuto ( 04:10 )
10 Concertino in B flat major for clarinet and orchestra- II. Allegretto ( 03:22 )
11 Sinfonia in D minor per la Morte di Capuzzi- Larghetto - Allegro vivace ( 10:29 )
Chamber music - Gaetano Donizetti - 1993
01. Introduzione for string orchestra in D minor ( 07:49 )
02. Nocturne for winds & strings in E flat major ( 03:22 )
03. Nocturne for winds & strings in F minor ( 03:49 )
04. Nocturne for winds & strings in A flat major ( 02:13 )
05. Nocturne for winds & strings in F major ( 03:58 )
06. Amusement pathetique (from Anna Bolena), for violin & strings ( 12:28 )
07. String Quintet in C major (1st mvt. only) ( 06:10 )
08. Quintet for guitar & strings in C major ( 22:41 )
09. Sinfonia for winds in D major ( 05:28 )
10. Largetto for winds in F major ( 03:55 )
11. Moderato (untitled) for wind instruments & organ in B flat major ( 04:15 )
12. March for orchestra ( dedicated to Francesco Donizetti ) ( 03:05 )

Performers : Vincenzo Bolognese, Mario Gangi, Rodolfo Bonucci, Alexandra Stefanato, Dino Asciolla, Arturo Bonucci, Massimo Taddei, Pietro Spada

Conductor - Alessio Vlad
Orchestra da Camera di Santa Cecilia

Quartet for strings №7...18 - Gaetano Donizetti
01 Introduzione for strings - Larghetto Affettuoso ( 06:10 )
02 №7 in F minor - Allegro vivace ( 07:38 )
03 №7 in F minor - Adagio ma non troppo ( 04:27 )
04 №7 in F minor - Presto-Trio ( 04:09 )
05 №7 in F minor - Marcia lugubre ( 04:30 )
06 №8 in B flat major - Allegro ( 04:16 )
07 №8 in B flat major - Larghetto ( 03:22 )
08 №8 in B flat major - Minuetto-Trio ( 04:26 )
09 №8 in B flat major - Presto ( 03:49 )
10 №9 in D minor - Allegro ( 06:11 )
11 №9 in D minor - Larghetto ( 03:01 )
12 №9 in D minor - Minuetto ( Allegro ) - Trio ( 02:52 )
13 №9 in D minor - Allegro vivace ( 04:42 )
14 №10 in G minor - Allegro Presto ( 05:58 )
15 №10 in G minor - Larghetto cantabile ( 04:45 )
16 №10 in G minor - Minuetto-Allegro ( 02:35 )
17 №11 in C major - Allegro vivace ( 07:22 )
18 №11 in C major - Largo-Andante ( 03:03 )
19 №11 in C major - Allegro ( 03:27 )
20 №11 in C major - Minuetto ( 02:27 )
21 №11 in C major - Tema con Variazione-Andante ( 06:56 )
22 №12 in C major - Allegro ( 03:12 )
23 №12 in C major - Minuetto ( 03:41 )
24 №12 in C major - Allegro mosso ( 08:15 )
25 №13 in A major - Adagio non troppo ( 04:46 )
26 №13 in A major - Allegro ( 06:13 )
27 №13 in A major - Allegro non troppo ( 08:32 )
28 №13 in A major - Minuetto Prestissimo ( 02:56 )
29 №14 in D major - Allegro ( 10:08 )
30 №14 in D major - Cantabile ( 04:30 )
31 №14 in D major - Allegro ( 02:36 )
32 №14 in D major - Minuetto-Allegro ( 04:21 )
33 №15 in F major - Andante ( 03:13 )
34 №15 in F major - Andante-Allegro ( 07:16 )
35 №15 in F major - Largo-Allegro ( 06:41 )
36 №15 in F major - Minuetto presto ( 02:57 )
37 №16 in B minor - Allegro ( 06:25 )
38 №16 in B minor - Largo ( 04:41 )
39 №16 in B minor - Minuetto ( 02:57 )
40 №16 in B minor - Allegro finale ( 03:30 )
41 №17 in D major - Allegro ( 09:50 )
42 №17 in D major - Larghetto ( 03:58 )
43 №17 in D major - Minuetto presto ( 03:31 )
44 №17 in D major - Allegro ( 07:04 )
45 №18 in E minor - Allegro ( 10:30 )
46 №18 in E minor - Adagio ( 07:41 )
47 №18 in E minor - Minuetto presto ( 03:51 )
48 №18 in E minor - Allegro giusto (alla polacca) ( 06:48 )
Dame Montserrat Caballé - Lucrezia Borgia / Caterina Cornaro / Gemma di Vergy _ Donizetti
First her trademark pianissimo from her signature role, Lucrezia Borgia, with the great Alfredo Kraus, then a bit of Caterina Cornaro ( 02:56 ) featuring Giacomo Arragall (the duet ending the prologue) and, finally, two excerpts from the most difficult female role Donizetti wrote, which Caballé claims it's waaay more taxing than Norma, Gemma di Vergy, live from both Paris ( 05:38 end of act 1) and Carnegie Hall ( 08:50 finale), both from the 1970s enjoy :)

Dame Montserrat Caballé (named a Dame Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic) was born 12 April 1933, Spanish operatic soprano. She sang a wide variety of roles, but is best known as an exponent of the bel canto repertoire, notably the works of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi.

Montserrat Concepción Bibiana Caballé i Folch was born in Barcelona and studied music at the Liceu Conservatory, and singing technique with Napoleone Annovazzi, Eugenia Kemény and Conchita Badía. She graduated with a gold medal in 1954. She subsequently moved to Basel, Switzerland, where she made her professional debut in 1956 as Mimì in Puccini's La bohème. She became part of the Basel Opera company between 1957 and 1959, singing a repertoire that included Mozart (Erste Dame in The Magic Flute) and Richard Strauss (Salome) in German, unusual for Spanish singers, but which proved useful for her next engagement at the Bremen Opera (1959--1962).

In 1962, Caballé returned to Barcelona and debuted at the Liceu, singing the title role in Strauss's Arabella. From the fall of 1962 through the spring of 1963 she toured Mexico, at one point singing the title role in Massenet's Manon at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. This was followed by several more successful appearances at the Liceu in 1963.

Caballé's international breakthrough came in 1965 when she substituted for an indisposed Marilyn Horne in a semi-staged performance of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at New York's Carnegie Hall, which earned her a 25-minute standing ovation. While this was her first engagement in a bel canto opera and she had to learn the role in less than one month, her performance made her famous throughout the opera world. Later that year, Caballé made her debut at Glyndebourne singing her first Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and portraying the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Caballé married the tenor Bernabé Martí in 1964. Their daughter, Montserrat Martí Caballé ("known as Montsita"), is also a soprano.

DONIZETTI Messa di Requiem - T.Sojat, M.Rosca, Prague Virtuosi, A.Rahbari, 1997
Gaetano DONIZETTI: Messa di Requiem, in D minor "in morte di Vincenzo Bellini" for 5 Soli, Choir and Orchestra (1835)
0:10 / 1. INTRODUZIONE | Requiem (Soli; Choir) [8'28'']
8:38 / 2. KYRIE (Choir) [2'39'']
11:18 / 3. GRADUALE |a| Requiem (Choir) [1'51'']
13:10 / 4. GRADUALE |b| In memoria aeterna (Choir) [2'51'']
16:01 / 5. SEQUENTIA |a| Dies irae (Choir) [3'00'']
19:01 / 6. SEQUENTIA |b| Tuba mirum (Soli: T, B, Br) [3'05'']
22:07 / 7. SEQUENTIA |c| Judex ergo (Soli: T, B) [4'37'']
26:45 / 8. SEQUENTIA |d| Rex tremendae majestatis (Soli: S, B; Choir) [4'24'']
31:09 / 9. SEQUENTIA |e| Ingemisco (Solo T) [4'40'']
35:50 / 10. SEQUENTIA |f| Praeces meae (Soli: Ms, T, B) [2'31'']
38:21 / 11. SEQUENTIA |g| Confutatis maledictis (Soli; Choir) [2'24'']
40:45 / 12. SEQUENTIA |h| Oro supplex (Solo B) [3'02'']
43:48 / 13. SEQUENTIA |i| Lacrymosa, Dies illa (Choir) [4'32'']
48:20 / 14. OFFERTORIUM | Domine Jesu Christe (Solo B; Choir) [5'10'']
53:31 / 15. LUX AETERNA (Choir) [1'34'']
55:05 / 16. LIBERA ME DOMINE (Soli; Choir) [7'10'']
Tiziana K. Sojat, soprano (S) - Jaroslava Horska-Maxova, mezzosoprano (Ms) - Vittorio Giammarrusco, tenor (T) - Zdenek Hlavka, baritone (Br) - Marcel Rosca, bass (B) - Virtuosi di Praga - Prague Chamber Choir - Alexander RAHBARI, conductor (rec: 1 May 1997, Korunni Studios, Prague - (p) 1997 Discover Internat.)
G. Donizetti - Cristoforo Colombo _ Cantata for Baritone & Orchestra / S. Antonucci
Cristoforo Colombo (La scoperta dell'America), scenic cantata for baritone & orchestra by Gaetano Donizetti (1838). Stefano Antonucci (baritone)

Orchestra Giovanile di Savona, Massimo de Bernart, cond. 1994
Coro S. Gregorio Magno

Written in 1838, opened at San Carlo on April 25, with text by Donizetti himself. This is a cantata for baritone and orchestra. Felice Romani had written an entire libretto (rumor) on the subject for an opera by Donizetti, which never took place so it was turned into a cantata. Stefano Antonucci is Cristoforo Colombo.

1. N 1: Coro Di Marinai "Qual Vuoto Interminabile"
2. N 2: Scena E Cavatina Colombo. Recitativo "Quai Deliri Son Questi?
3. N 2: Cavatina: "Si, Ferite! E Il Sangue Mio"
4. N 3: Scena E Aria Colombo. Recitativo: Colombo "Ritiratevi Dunque"
5. N 3: Cantabile: "Bella Italia, Che Patria Mi Sei"
6. N 3: Tempo Di Mezzo: "Viva Il Magnanimo, -L'eroe Colombo"
7. N 3: Cabaletta: "Io varcar dell'oceàno"

G. Donizetti - Parisina _ "La mia ripulsa, o prodi"..."Dillo...ah! dillo" Giannattasio/ Bros/ Solari
Parisina, Act 1 - "La mia ripulsa, o prodi" ... "Dillo...ah! dillo" ... "Giunge il Duca"

Carmen Giannattasio, Ugo - José Bros, Azzo - Dario Solari, Ernesto - Nicola Ulivieri, Imelda - Ann Taylor. Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, David Parry - conductor

Donizetti's gripping opera, Parisina, comes from a particularly fruitful period in the composer's life. The opera made its 1833 debut in Florence, the year Lucrezia Borgia opened at La Scala and Torquato Tasso premiered in Rome, with a libretto by leading exponent of his craft at that time, Felice Romani. Though it was widely staged during the two decades following its premiere, the opera is rarely performed today. Opera Rara hopes the work's fortunes will change with this new recording, cast from strength and led by the Parisina of Carmen Giannattasio (Opera Rara's La donna del lago ORC34) and José Bros (Opera Rara's Roberto Devereux ORC24) as Ugo.

Even for an early romantic melodrama, the plot is unusually dark. Parisina, daughter of an exiled nobleman, has been raised in the Court of Azzo, a 15th century Duke of Ferrara. Azzo pledges to recover her father's lost states and marry Parisina. But, Parisina has secretly fallen in love with her childhood companion, Ugo, an orphan who was taken in by an elderly minister and educated among Azzo's pages and, who it is revealed, is the son of Azzo's previous marriage.

Azzo's worst suspicions are confirmed as Parisina lets slip her love for another under the silky sedation of sleep. In furious anger at her outlandish passion, and in one of the most electrifyingly dramatic moments in all opera, Azzo has his own son murdered and presents the anguished stepmother with the corpse. This horrifying scenario was just the sort of passionate narrative to set the composer's musical pulses racing. As Azzo's fury explodes, driving strings swirl up over a striding bass and, according to biographer, William Ashbrook, "Donizetti unleashes a dramatic energy unequalled by anything he composed up to this time....Parisina contains some of Donizetti's most vivid musical portraiture....Amongst the composer's seventy operas, this 1expressive psychological piece was the one that Donizetti himself favoured most -- quite an endorsement."'

Donizetti, sonata for flute and piano
Maxence Larrieu, flute
Jean Jacques Balet, piano
Enrico di Borgogna - 1818
Enrico di Borgogna (Henry of Burgundy) is an opera eroica or "heroic" opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Bartolomeo Merelli (who later, as Intendant at La Scala, was to commission Verdi's first opera), wrote the Italian libretto based on Der Graf von Burgund by August von Kotzebue.

Enrico di Borgogna was the third opera composed by Donizetti, but the first to be performed. It premiered on 14 November 1818 at the Teatro San Luca in Venice. In spite of difficulties at the premiere, the critic of Nuovo osservatore veneziano noted of Donizetti that "one cannot but recognize a regular handling and expressive quality in his style. For these, the public wanted to salute Signor Donizetti on stage at the end of the opera".

For the first time in 192 years, the opera was presented at the Vadstena Academy in Sweden in July/August 2012.


The king has been deceived and murdered by his own brother. The king's bodyguards, Pietro and Brunone, manage to escape with Enrico, the first-born son of the king and the rightful heir to the throne. During Pietro’s escape, his wife is killed before they can get to safety. Brunone stays in the castle, becoming the new king's bodyguard.

Time: The Middle Ages
Place: Burgundy

Act 1
Nicola, the young shepherd, and his friends find the old man Pietro weeping before by his wife's grave, as he has done many times. They try to cheer him up, and, after that, carry on with their work, leaving Pietro alone.

Enrico, now a young man, is on his way home from fishing; he is tired of the simple life up in the mountains and is longing for something more exiting. He is also thinking about the girl of his dreams, Elisa, whom he has several times in the mountains.

Brunone arrives at Pietro's cabin and tells him that the king is dead and that his weak son Guido has taken his place. He explains that this is the time to strike if they want to see Enrico installed on the throne. When Enrico arrives and learns the truth, they give him his father's sword and he decides to accept his fate.

In the castle the new king Guido and his jester Gilberto are planning Guido's marriage with Elisa, but she has just lost her father is still mourning; she refuses to marry Guido, but he forces her to accept his proposal, and the wedding plans begin.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donizetti - ENRICO DI BORGOGNA - Vadstena - July 28, 2012
Enrico di Borgogna : Kinga Dobay
Pietro : Markus Pettersson
Elisa : Rebecca Rasmussen
Guido : Thomas Volle
Gilberto : Christian Oldenburg
Brunone : Ludvig Lindström
Nicola : Peter Nyqvist
Geltrude : Christina Nilsson

Vadstena Academy Orchestra and Choir
Conductor : Olof Boman

Della Jones - Elisa! Elisa! Oh! Me infelice... Care aurette (Enrico di Borgogna - Gaetano Donizetti )
Anna Bolena - 1830

Anna Bolena
King Henry VIII
Anna Bolena is a tragedia lirica, or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Ippolito Pindemonte's Enrico VIII ossia Anna Bolena and Alessandro Pepoli's Anna Bolena, both recounting the life of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII.

It is one of four operas by Donizetti dealing with the Tudor period in English history—in composition order, Il castello di Kenilworth (1829), Anna Bolena (1830), Maria Stuarda (named for Mary, Queen of Scots, it appeared in different forms in 1834 and 1835), and Roberto Devereux (1837, named for a putative lover of Queen Elizabeth I of England). The leading female characters of the latter three operas are often referred to as "the Three Donizetti Queens."

The duet "Sul suo capo aggravi un Dio" between Anna (soprano) and Jane Seymour (mezzo soprano), who later became Henry VIII's third wife, is considered one of the finest in the entire operatic repertoire.

Anna Bolena premiered on 26 December 1830 at the Teatro Carcano in Milan, to "overwhelming success." Weinstock notes that only after this success did Donizetti's teacher, Johann Simon Mayr, "address his former pupil as Maestro." The composer had begun "to emerge as one of three most luminous names in the world of Italian opera", alongside Bellini and Rossini.

Performance history

19th century

After its opening performances in Italy in 1830, Anna Bolena was first given in London at the King's Theatre on 8 July 1831. Its first US performance was given in French (as Anne de Boulen) in New Orleans, at the Théâtre d'Orléans on 12 November 1839. It appears to have been presented in Europe, up to 1850, in 25 cities and then again in 1881 in Livorno. After the rise of verismo, it was performed infrequently.

20th century and beyond

Rarely seen in the first half of the 20th century, it was revived more frequently after World War II. On 30 December 1947, the opera was performed at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, to mark that theatre's centennial (it had opened in 1847 with Anna Bolena). The cast was Sara Scuderi as Anna, Giulietta Simionato as Jane Seymour and Cesare Siepi as Henry VIII. In April 1957, the opera was revived at La Scala for Maria Callas (one of the performances was recorded) in a lavish production directed by Luchino Visconti, with Giulietta Simionato as Jane Seymour. It proved to be one of Callas' greatest triumphs.

The Santa Fe Opera claims to have been the first US company to give a "full stage production in over a century" on 26 June 1959. Several famous modern sopranos have lent their voices to the role, including Leyla Gencer, Montserrat Caballé, Marisa Galvany, Renata Scotto, Edita Gruberova and Mariella Devia. In the 1970s, Beverly Sills earned a considerable degree of fame when she appeared in all three of Donizetti's "Tudor" operas at the New York City Opera. (She also made studio recordings of all three operas.) And Anna was one of the last new roles performed by Dame Joan Sutherland, in a concert version in the 1980s.

While not yet part of the "standard repertory", Anna Bolena is increasingly performed today  and there are several recordings.

It was presented by the Dallas Opera in November 2010, which has also staged Maria Stuarda. The Minnesota Opera presented Anna Bolena as part of the "Three Queens" trilogy. The Vienna State Opera gave it in the Spring of 2011, with Anna Netrebko in the title role and Elina Garanca as Seymour. New York's Metropolitan Opera mounted it for the first time in September 2011, opening the company's 2011-2012 season, with Netrebko and with David McVicar directing. Opera Seria UK in Manchester, England, staged Anna Bolena in 2012 as the first in their "Tudor Queens" trilogy, which continues into 2014. And the Welsh National Opera presented the trilogy between September and November 2013, in many different venues in Britain.

Time: 1536
Place: Windsor and London

Act 1

Scene One: Night. Windsor Castle, Queen's apartments

Courtiers comment that the queen’s star is setting, because the king’s fickle heart burns with another love.

Jane Seymour enters to attend a call by the Queen, Anna enters and notes that people seem sad. The queen admits being troubled to Jane. At the queen’s request, her page Smeaton plays the harp and sings to cheer the people present. The queen asks him to stop. Unheard by any one else, she says to herself that the ashes of her first love are still burning, and that she is now unhappy in her vain splendor. All leave, except Jane.

Henry VIII enters, he tells Jane that soon she will have no rival, that the altar has been prepared for her, that she will have husband, sceptre, and throne. Each leaves by a different door.

Scene Two: Day. Around Windsor Castle

Lord Rochefort, Anna’s brother, is surprised to meet Lord Richard Percy, who has been called back to England from exile by Henry VIII. Percy asks if it is true that the Queen is unhappy and that the King has changed. Rochefort answers that love is never content.

Hunters enter. Percy is agitated at the prospect of possibly seeing Anna, who was his first love. Henry and Anna enter and express surprise at seeing Percy. Henry does not allow Percy to kiss his hand, but says that Anna has given him assurances of Percy’s innocence but she still has feelings for Percy. Henry VIII tells Hervey, an officer of the king, to be the spy of every step and every word of Anna and Percy.

Scene Three: Windsor Castle, close to the Queen's apartments

Smeaton takes a locket from his breast containing Anna’s portrait. He has stolen it and has come to return it. He hears a sound and hides behind a screen. Anna and Rochefort enter. Rochefort asks Anna to hear Percy. Then he leaves. Smeaton peeps out from behind the screen, but cannot escape. Percy enters. Percy says that he sees that Anna is unhappy. She tells him that the king now loathes her. Percy says that he still loves her. Anna tells him not to speak to her of love. Before leaving, Percy asks whether he can see Anna again. She says no. He draws his sword to stab himself, and Anna screams. In the mistaken belief that Percy is attacking Anna, Smeaton rushes out from behind the screen. Smeaton and Percy are about to fight. Anna faints, and Rochefort rushes in. Just then, Henry VIII enters and sees the unsheathed swords. Summoning attendants, he says that these persons have betrayed their king. Smeaton says that it is not true, and tears open his tunic to offer his breast to the king for slaying if he is lying. The locket with Anna’s portrait falls at the king’s feet. The king snatches it up. He orders that the offenders be dragged to dungeons. Anna says to herself that her fate is sealed.

Act 2
Scene One: London. Antechamber of the Queen's apartments

The guards note that even Jane Seymour has stayed away from Anna. Anna enters with a retinue of ladies, who tell her to place her trust in heaven. Hervey enters and says that the Council of Peers has summoned the ladies into its presence. The ladies leave with Hervey. Jane enters and says that Anna can avoid being put to death by admitting guilt. Anna says that she will not buy her life with infamy. She expresses the hope that her successor will wear a crown of thorns. Jane admits that she is to be the successor. Anna tells her to leave, but says that Henry VIII alone is the guilty one. Jane leaves, deeply upset.

Scene Two: Antechamber leading into the hall where the Council of Peers is meeting

Hervey tells courtiers that Anna is lost, because Smeaton has talked and has revealed a crime. Henry VIII enters. Hervey says that Smeaton has fallen into the trap. Henry VIII tells Hervey to continue to let Smeaton believe that he has saved Anna's life. Anna and Percy are brought in, separately. Henry VIII says that Anna has made love to the page Smeaton, and that there are witnesses. He says that both Anna and Percy will die. Percy says that it is written in heaven that he and Anna are married. They are led away by guards.

Jane enters. She says that she does not want to be the cause of Anna's death. Henry VIII says that she will not save Anna by leaving. Hervey enters and says that the Council has dissolved the royal marriage and has condemned Anna and her accomplices to death. Courtiers and Jane ask the king to be merciful. He tells them to leave.

Scene Three: Tower of London

Percy and Rochefort are together in their cell. Hervey enters and says that the king has pardoned them. They ask about Anna. Hearing that she is to be executed, they choose to be executed also. They leave, surrounded by guards.

In Anna's cell, a chorus of ladies comment on her madness and grief. Anna enters, she imagines that it is her wedding day to the king. Then she imagines that she sees Percy, and she asks him to take her back to her childhood home (Donizetti used the theme from the English/American song Home Sweet Home as part of Anna’s Mad Scene to underscore her longing). Percy, Rochefort and Smeaton are brought in. Smeaton throws himself at Anna's feet and says that he accused her in the belief that he was saving her life. In her delirium, Anna asks him why he is not playing his lute. The sound of cannon is heard. Anna comes to her senses. She is told that Jane and Henry VIII are being acclaimed by the populace on their wedding day. Anna says that she does not invoke vengeance on the wicked couple. She faints. Guards enter to lead the prisoners to the block. Smeaton, Percy and Rochefort say that one victim has already been sacrificed.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ANNA BOLENA 2011 / Anna Netrebko / Full Video / Gaetano Donizetti
Anna Bolena Nelly Miricioiu
Maria Callas - Anna Bolena, Finale (Score Animation)
Anna Netrebko "Coppia iniqua" Anna Bolena MET 2011
"ANNA BOLENA"-Anna Netrebko-Elina Garanca-Atto 2-Vienna 5.4.2011
Donizetti "ANNA BOLENA" live Wiener Staatsoper 5.4.2011 / Anna Bolena, Anna Netrebko / Giovanna Seymour, Elina Garanca
L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) - 1831-1832
L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) is a comic opera (melodramma giocoso) in two acts by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe's libretto for Daniel Auber's Le philtre (1831).

The premiere of L'elisir d'amore took place at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan on 12 May 1832.

Written in haste in a six-week period, L'elisir d'amore was the most often performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848 and it has remained continually in the international opera repertory. Today it is one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas: it appears as number 13 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide in the five seasons between 2008 and 2013. There are a large number of recordings. It contains the popular tenor aria "Una furtiva lagrima," a romanza that has a considerable performance history in the concert hall.

Donizetti insisted on a number of changes from the original Scribe libretto. The most well known of these was the insertion of "Una furtiva lagrima", others are the duet between Adina and Nemorino in the first act, "Chiedi all'aura lusinghiera", and the rewritten lyrics to "Io son ricco e tu sei bella" in the final scene of the opera, where this duet, originally a song written by Dulcamara for the marriage of Adina and Belcore, reoccurs as a Dulcamara solo with scabrous lyrics, becoming the de facto final aria—a feature of many Donizetti operas.

In general, under Donizetti's hands, the subject became more romantic than in the Auber version: L'elisir d'amore features three big duets between the tenor and soprano. There is also personal history in this opera. Donizetti's military service was bought by a rich woman, so that, unlike his brother Giuseppe (also a well known composer) he did not have to serve in the Austrian army.

Front page of the libretto published by editions Ricordi.

Place: A small village in the Basque Country
Time: The end of the 18th century

Act 1

Nemorino, a poor peasant, is in love with Adina, a beautiful landowner, who torments him with her indifference. When Nemorino hears Adina reading to her workers the story of Tristan and Isolde, he is convinced that a magic potion will help him to gain Adina's love. The self-important Sergeant Belcore appears with his regiment and immediately sets about courting Adina in front of everyone. Nemorino becomes anxious (although, Adina meanwhile secretly derides Belcore's complacency) and, alone with Adina, reveals his love for her. Yet Adina rebuffs him, saying she wants a different lover every day and following her example would do Nemorino better. Nemorino declares that his feelings will never change. The travelling quack doctor, Dulcamara (the self-proclaimed Dr. Encyclopedia), arrives, selling his bottled cure-all to the townspeople. Nemorino innocently asks Dulcamara if he has any of Isolde's love potion. Despite failing to recognise the name 'Isolde', Dulcamara's commercial talents nevertheless enable him to sell a bottle of the cure-all - in reality only cheap Bordeaux wine - to Nemorino, withdrawing all his savings.

To make a safe escape, Dulcamara tells Nemorino the potion needs 24 hours to take effect — by which time, the doctor will be long gone. Nemorino drinks the potion in a haste in order to watch the effect tomorrow. Emboldened by the "elixir" (in fact, drunk), Nemorino feigns indifference when he encounters Adina, as he expects that the elixir will facilitate his conquest of Adina the following day. She becomes increasingly annoyed; perhaps she has feelings for Nemorino after all? Belcore returns and proposes marriage to Adina. Still riled by Nemorino and wishing to give him a lesson, Adina falsely promises to marry Belcore in six days' time. Yet Nemorino only laughs in response: such confidence is sustained in the belief in the magic potion. However, when Belcore learns that his regiment must leave the next morning, Adina promises to marry him before his departure. This of course panics Nemorino, who cries out for Dr. Dulcamara to come to his aid. Adina, meanwhile, invites everyone to the wedding.

Giuseppe Frezzolini as Dr Dulcamara

Act 2
Adina and Belcore's wedding party is in full swing. Dr. Dulcamara encourages Adina to sing a duet with him to entertain the guests. The notary arrives to make the marriage official. Adina is annoyed to see that Nemorino has not appeared, for the whole deal has been intended only to punish him. While everyone goes to witness the signing of the wedding contract, Dulcamara stays behind, helping himself to food and drink. Having seen the notary, Nemorino appears, depressed, as he believes that he has lost Adina. He sees Dulcamara and frantically begs him for a more powerful, faster-acting elixir. Although Dulcamara is proud to boast of his philanthropy, upon discovering that Nemorino has no money any more he changes his tune and marches off, refusing to supply him anything. Belcore emerges, musing about why Adina has suddenly put off the wedding and signing the contract. He spots Nemorino and asks his rival why he is depressed. When Nemorino says he needs cash, Belcore suggests joining the army, as he'll receive funds on the spot. Belcore tries to excite Nemorino with tales of military life, while Nemorino only thinks of getting the potion and thus winning Adina, if only for a day before departure. Belcore produces a contract, which Nemorino signs in return for the money. Nemorino privately vows to rush and buy more potion, while Belcore muses about how sending Nemorino off to war has so easily dispatched his rival.

After the two men have left, Giannetta gossips with the women of the village. Swearing them all to secrecy, she reveals that Nemorino's uncle has just died and left his nephew a large fortune. However, neither Nemorino nor Adina is yet aware of this. Nemorino enters, having spent his military signing bonus on - and consumed - a large amount of the fake elixir from Dr. Dulcamara. Hoping to share his fortune, the women approach Nemorino with overly friendly greetings. So out of character is this that Nemorino takes it as proof of the elixir's efficacy. Adina sees Nemorino with the women, is rattled by his newfound popularity and asks Dr. Dulcamara for an explanation. Unaware that Adina is the object of Nemorino's affection, Dulcamara explains that Nemorino spent his last penny on the elixir and joined the army for money to get more, so desperate was he to win the love of some unnamed cruel beauty. Adina immediately recognises Nemorino's sincerity, regrets her behaviour and realises that she has loved Nemorino all along. Although Dulcamara seizes the opportunity to try and sell her some of his potion to win back Nemorino, Adina declares that she has full confidence in her own powers of attraction.

Nemorino appears alone, pensive, reflecting on a tear he saw in Adina's eye when he was ignoring her earlier. Solely based on that, he convinces himself that Adina loves him. She enters and asks why he has chosen to join the army and leave the village. When Nemorino explains that he was seeking a better life, Adina responds that he is loved and that she has purchased back his military contract from Sergeant Belcore. She offers the cancelled contract to Nemorino and reassures him that, if he stays, he will be happy. As he takes the contract, Adina turns to leave. Nemorino believes she is abandoning him and flies into a desperate fit, vowing that if he is not loved he might as well go off and die a soldier. Deeply moved by his fidelity, Adina finally declares that she will love Nemorino forever. Nemorino is ecstatic. Adina begs him to forgive her, which he does with a kiss. Belcore returns to see Nemorino and Adina in an embrace. When Adina explains that she loves Nemorino, the Sergeant takes the news in his stride, noting that there are plenty of other women in the world. Adina and Nemorino learn about the inheritance from his uncle. Dulcamara returns and boasts of the success of his elixir: Nemorino is now not only loved but also rich. He exults in the boost this will bring to the sales of his product. As he prepares to leave, everyone queues up to buy the elixir and hails Dulcamara as a great physician.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adina - Anna Netrebko
Nemorino - Rolando Villazon
Dulcamara - Ildebrando d' Arcangelo
Belcore - Leo Nucci
Giannetta - Inna Los

Conductor - Alfred Eschwe

Lucia di Lammermoor - 1835
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico (tragic opera) in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.

Donizetti wrote Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835, a time when several factors led to the height of his reputation as a composer of opera. Gioachino Rossini had recently retired and Vincenzo Bellini had died shortly before the premiere of Lucia leaving Donizetti as "the sole reigning genius of Italian opera". Not only were conditions ripe for Donizetti's success as a composer, but there was also a European interest in the history and culture of Scotland. The perceived romance of its violent wars and feuds, as well as its folklore and mythology, intrigued 19th century readers and audiences. Sir Walter Scott made use of these stereotypes in his novel The Bride of Lammermoor, which inspired several musical works including Lucia.

The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton (Lucia) who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th century.

Performance history
19th century

The opera premiered on 26 September 1835 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. However, John Black notes that "the surprising feature of its subsequent performance history is that it established so slowly in the Neapolitan repertoire", noting that while there were 18 performances in the rest of 1835, there were only four in 1836, 16 in 1837, two in 1838, and continuing in this manner with only two in each of 1847 and 1848.

London saw the opera on 5 April 1838 and, for Paris, Donizetti revised the score for a French version which debuted on 6 August 1839 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. It reached the United States with a production in New Orleans on 28 December 1841.

20th century and beyond

The opera was never absent from the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera for more than one season at a time from the entire period from 1903 until 1972. After World War II, a number of technically able sopranos, the most notable of whom were first Maria Callas (with performances from 1952 at La Scala and Berlin in 1954/55 under Herbert von Karajan) and then Dame Joan Sutherland (with her 1959 and 1960 performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden), were instrumental in giving new life to the opera.

It has remained a staple of the standard operatic repertoire, and appears as number 21 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide from the 2008/09 to 2012/13 season.

Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani as Lucia in the London premiere of Lucia di Lammermoor


Time: Early 18th century
Place: Scotland

Act 1

Scene 1: The gardens of Lammermoor Castle

Normanno, captain of the castle guard, and other retainers are searching for an intruder. He tells Enrico that he believes that the man is Edgardo, and that he comes to the castle to meet Enrico's sister, Lucia. It is confirmed that Edgardo is indeed the intruder. Enrico reaffirms his hatred for the Ravenswood family and his determination to end the relationship.

Scene 2: By a fountain at the entrance to the park, beside the castle

Lucia waits for Edgardo. In her famous aria Regnava nel Silenzio, Lucia tells her maid Alisa that she has seen the ghost of a girl killed on the very same spot by a jealous Ravenswood ancestor. Alisa tells Lucia that the apparition is a warning and that she must give up her love for Edgardo. Edgardo enters; for political reasons, he must leave immediately for France. He hopes to make his peace with Enrico and marry Lucia. Lucia tells him this is impossible, and instead they take a sworn vow of marriage and exchange rings. Edgardo leaves.

Act 2
Scene 1: Lord Ashton's apartments in Lammermoor Castle

Preparations have been made for the imminent wedding of Lucia to Arturo. Enrico worries about whether Lucia will really submit to the wedding. He shows his sister a forged letter seemingly proving that Edgardo has forgotten her and taken a new lover. Enrico leaves Lucia to further persuasion this time by Raimondo, Lucia's chaplain and tutor, that she should renounce her vow to Edgardo, for the good of the family, and marry Arturo.

Scene 2: A hall in the castle

Arturo arrives for the marriage. Lucia acts strangely, but Enrico explains that this is due to the death of her mother. Arturo signs the marriage contract, followed reluctantly by Lucia. At that point Edgardo suddenly appears in the hall. Raimondo prevents a fight, but he shows Lucia's signature on the marriage contract to Edgardo. He curses her, demanding that they return their rings to each other. He tramples his ring on the ground, before being forced out of the castle.

Act 3
Scene 1: The Wolf's Crag

Enrico visits Edgardo to challenge him to a duel. He tells him that Lucia is already enjoying her bridal bed. Edgardo agrees to fight him. They will meet later by the graveyard of the Ravenswoods, near the Wolf's Crag.

Scene 2: A Hall in Lammermoor Castle

Set design for act 3, scene 3 by Francesco Bagnara, circa 1844 (Civica Raccolta Stampe Bertarelli Milan)

Raimondo interrupts the marriage celebrations to tell the guests that Lucia has gone mad and killed her bridegroom Arturo. Lucia enters. In the aria 'Il dolce suono' she imagines being with Edgardo, soon to be happily married. Enrico enters and at first threatens Lucia but later softens when he realizes her condition. Lucia collapses. Raimondo blames Normanno for precipitating the whole tragedy.

Scene 3: The graveyard of the Ravenswood family

Edgardo is resolved to kill himself on Enrico's sword. He learns that Lucia is dying and then Raimondo comes to tell him that she has already died. Edgardo stabs himself with a dagger, hoping to be reunited with Lucia in heaven.

The "Mad Scene"

Some sopranos, most notably Maria Callas, have performed the scene in a come scritto ("as written") fashion, adding minimal ornamentation to their interpretations. Most sopranos, however, add ornamentation to demonstrate their technical ability, as was the tradition in the bel canto period. This involves the addition and interpolation of trills, mordents, turns, runs and cadenzas. Almost all sopranos append cadenzas to the end of the "Mad Scene", sometimes ending them on a high keynote (E-flat or F, depending on the key in which they are singing though Mado Robin takes an even higher B-flat). Some sopranos, including Ruth Welting and Mariella Devia have sung the "Mad Scene" in Donizetti's original F major key, although E-flat is more commonly heard.

The original scoring of this scene was for glass harmonica, but this was later replaced by the more usual arrangement with two flutes.

The popular soprano and flute duet cadenza was composed in 1888 by Mathilde Marchesi for her student Nellie Melba's performance of the role, requiring ten weeks of rehearsal for the new addition and causing a critical reevaluation and surge of new interest in the opera.

Lucie de Lammermoor (French version)
After the original had been performed in Paris, a French version of Lucia di Lammermoor was commissioned for the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris while Donizetti was living there preparing the revision of Poliuto into its French version which became Les Martyrs. Lucie opened on 6 August 1839 and subsequently this version was extensively toured throughout France. The libretto, written by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, is not simply a translation, as Donizetti altered some of the scenes and characters. One of the more notable changes is the disappearance of Alisa, Lucia's friend. This allows the French version to isolate Lucia and to leave a stronger emotional impact than that left by the original. Furthermore, Lucia loses most of Raimondo's support; his role is dramatically diminished while Arturo gets a bigger part. Donizetti creates a new character, Gilbert, who is loosely based on the huntsman in the Italian version. However, Gilbert is a more developed figure and serves both Edgardo and Enrico, divulging their secrets to the other for money.

The French version is far less frequently performed than the Italian, but it was revived to great acclaim by Natalie Dessay and Roberto Alagna at the Opéra National de Lyon in 2002. It was also co-produced by the Boston Lyric Opera and the Glimmerglass Opera with Sarah Coburn singing the title role as her first "Lucia" in this French version in 2005. In 2008 Lucie was produced by the Cincinnati Opera with Sarah Coburn again in the title role.

Both the Italian and French versions have received multiple recordings, although the Italian version predominates. One of the earliest versions was recorded in 1929 with Lorenzo Molajoli conducting the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus and Mercedes Capsir in the title role. There are several recordings with Maria Callas in the title role, including two versions conducted by Tullio Serafin (1953 and 1959) and one by Herbert von Karajan (1955). Joan Sutherland, who was particularly noted for performances as Lucia, has also recorded the opera several times including the 1971 Decca recording conducted by Richard Bonynge with Luciano Pavarotti as Edgardo. In 2002, Chandos Records released a recording in English of the Italian version conducted by David Parry with Elizabeth Futral As Lucia.

A caricature of the "Lucia Sextet", circa 1900 (Civica Raccolta Stampe Bertarelli Milan)

Cultural references and adaptations
The "Lucia Sextet" (Chi mi frena in tal momento?) was recorded in 1908 by Enrico Caruso, Marcella Sembrich, Antonio Scotti, Marcel Journet, Barbara Severina, and Francesco Daddi, (Victor single-sided 70036) and released at the price of $7.00, earning it the title of "The Seven-Dollar Sextet". The film The Great Caruso incorporates a performance of this sextet. The sextet's melody is used in Howard Hawks' gangster classic Scarface. Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) whistles "Chi mi frena?" ("What restrains me?") whenever he is about to kill someone, and the tune becomes a signifier for his murders. The "Lucia Sextet" melody also figures in two scenes from the 2006 film The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese. In one scene, Jack Nicholson's character is shown at a performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor," and the music on the soundtrack is from the sextet. Later in the film, Nicholson's cell phone ringtone is the sextet melody.

The sextet has also been used in comedy and cartoon films. The American slapstick team, The Three Stooges used it in their short films Micro-Phonies and Squareheads of the Round Table," sung in the latter with the lyrics "Oh, Elaine, Elaine, come out ....", and it appears during a scene from the 1986 comedy film, The Money Pit. Its use in Warner Bros. cartoons includes Long-Haired Hare, sung by the opera singer (Bugs Bunny's antagonist); Book Revue, sung by the wolf antagonist; and in Back Alley Oproar, sung by a choir full of Sylvesters. In a season one episode of The Flintstones entitled "The Split Personality," Fred's alter ego Frederick (also voiced by Alan Reed) performs the sextet by himself quite poorly. In the 1946 Disney short, The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met, the sextet appears in a unique interpretation with all parts performed by Nelson Eddy. In the film Because You're Mine, some soldiers sing a parody of the tune mockingly to Mario Lanza as he performs Army chores.

The "Mad Scene" aria "Il dolce suono" appears in the Luc Besson film The Fifth Element in a performance by the alien diva Plavalaguna (voiced by Albanian soprano Inva Mula and played onscreen by French actress Maïwenn Le Besco). Mula's performance is also used in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent involving the murder of a young violinist by her opera singer mother (who performs the song right after the murder), and as a backdrop to "The Eye of Zion's Pocket" incorrectly credited to the Chemical Brothers for the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack (the original artist is unknown). The aria was covered by Russian pop singer Vitas over a heavily reworked orchestral techno score and released as a music video in 2006. In addition to the "Mad Scene," "Verranno a te sull'aure", and "Che facesti?" appear prominently in the 1983 Paul Cox film Man of Flowers, especially "Verranno a te sull'aure", which accompanies a striptease in the film's opening scene. "Regnava nel silenzio" accompanies the scene in Beetlejuice in which Lydia (Winona Ryder) composes a suicide note.

The opera is mentioned in the novels The Count of Monte Cristo, Madame Bovary, The Hotel New Hampshire, and Where Angels Fear to Tread and a performance of Lucia is a pivotal event in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. In the children's book The Cricket in Times Square, Chester Cricket chirps the tenor part to the "Lucia Sextet" as the encore to his farewell concert, literally stopping traffic in the process.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lucia - Mariella Devia
Edgardo - Marcelo Álvarez
Enrico - Renato Bruson
Raimondo - Carlo Colombara
Arturo - Satoshi Chubachi
Alisa - Elena Belfiore
Normanno - Tatsuya Higuchi

Conductor - Stefano Ranzani
Orchestra - Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus - Fujiwara Opera

Anna Netrebko - Lucia di Lammermoor - Mad Scene - 2009
Lucia di lamermoor "Il dolce suono"; "Escena de la locura"; Mad scene; Joan Sutherland; español
Lucía di Lammermoor
Libreto: Salvatore Cammarano
Producción: Metroplitan Opera Hose*
Orquesta y coro: del Metropolitan Ópera
Director: David Stivender
1. "Eccola!... "Il Dolce suono"
2. "Ardon gli inciensi"
3. "S'avanza Erico!"
4. "Spargi d'amaro pianto"

Intérpretes (de los fragmentos):

Lucia: JOAN SUTHERLAND (Soprano)

Lor Enrico Ashton: Pablo Elvira (Barítono)
Raimondo Bidebent: Paul Plishka (Bajo)
Normanno: John Gilmore (Tenor)
Maestro de coro: Raymond Hughes
Sólo de arpa: Claude Hill
Sólo de flauta:Michael Parloff

Grabado en vivo en el Metropolitan Ópera de Nueva York. El 13
de Noviembre de 1982

The Daughter of the Regiment - 1840
La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) is an opéra comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti, set to a French libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. It was first performed on 11 February 1840 by the Paris Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse.

The opera was written by Donizetti while he was living in Paris between 1838 and 1840 preparing a revised version of his then-unperformed Italian opera, Poliuto as Les martyrs for the Paris Opéra. Since Martyrs was delayed, the composer had time to write the music for La fille, his first opera set to a French text, as well as to stage the French version of Lucia di Lammermoor as Lucie de Lammermoor

As La fille, it quickly became a popular success, partly because of the famous aria "Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!", which requires of the tenor no fewer than nine high Cs. La figlia del reggimento, a slightly different Italian-language version (in translation by Calisto Bassi), was adapted to the tastes of the Italian public.

Performance history
The Opéra-Comique premiere

The opening night was "a barely averted disaster." Apparently the lead tenor was frequently off pitch.[2] The noted French tenor Gilbert Duprez, who was present, later observed in his Souvenirs d'un chanteur: "Donizetti often swore to me how his self-esteem as a composer had suffered in Paris. He was never treated there according to his merits. I myself saw the unsuccess, almost the collapse, of La fille du régiment."

It received a highly negative review from the French critic and composer Hector Berlioz (Journal des débats, 16 February 1840), who claimed it could not be taken seriously by either the public or its composer, although Berlioz did concede that some of the music, "the little waltz that serves as the entr'acte and the trio dialogué ... lack neither vivacity nor freshness." The source of Berlioz's hostility is revealed later in his review:

What, two major scores for the Opéra, Les martyrs and Le duc d'Albe, two others at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Lucie de Lammermoor and L'ange de Nisida, two at the Opéra-Comique, La fille du régiment and another whose title is still unknown, and yet another for the Théâtre-Italien, will have been written or transcribed in one year by the same composer! M[onsieur] Donizetti seems to treat us like a conquered country; it is a veritable invasion. One can no longer speak of the opera houses of Paris, but only of the opera houses of M[onsieur] Donizetti.
The critic and poet Théophile Gautier, who was not a rival composer, had a somewhat different point of view: "M[onsieur] Donizetti is capable of paying with music that is beautiful and worthy for the cordial hospitality which France offers him in all her theatres, subsidized or not."

Despite its bumpy start, the opera soon became hugely popular at the Opéra-Comique. During its first 80 years, it reached its 500th performance at the theatre in 1871 and its 1,000th in 1908.

Outside France
The opera was first performed in Italy at La Scala, Milan, on 3 October 1840, in Italian with recitatives by Donizetti replacing the spoken dialogue. It was thought "worthless" and received only six performances. It was not until 1928 when Toti Dal Monte sang Marie that the opera began to be appreciated in Italy.

La fille received its first performance in America on 7 March 1843 at the Théâtre d'Orléans in New Orleans.[9] The New Orleans company premiered the work in New York City on 19 July 1843 with Julie Calvé as Marie.[10] The Spirit of the Times (22 July) counted it a great success, and, although the score was "thin" and not up to the level of Anna Bolena or L'elisir d'amore, some of Donizetti's "gems" were to be found in it. The Herald (21 July) was highly enthusiastic, especially in its praise of Calvé: "Applause is an inadequate term, ... vehement cheering rewarded this talented prima donna."[12] Subsequently the opera was performed frequently in New York, the role of Marie being a favorite with Jenny Lind, Henriette Sontag, Pauline Lucca, Anna Thillon and Adelina Patti.

First given in England in Italian, it appeared on 27 May 1847 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London (with Jenny Lind and Luigi Lablache). Later—on 21 December 1847 in English—it was presented at the Surrey Theatre in London.

W. S. Gilbert wrote a burlesque adaptation of the opera, La Vivandière, in 1867.

1910 poster for the opera by Emile Finot

20th century and beyond
The Metropolitan Opera gave the first performances with Marcella Sembrich, and Charles Gilibert (Sulpice) during the 1902/03 season. It was then followed by performances at the Manhattan Opera House in 1909 with Luisa Tetrazzini, John McCormack, and Charles Gilibert, and again with Frieda Hempel and Antonio Scotti in the same roles at the Met on 17 December 1917.

It was revived at the Royal Opera, London in 1966 for Joan Sutherland. On 13 February 1970, in concert at Carnegie Hall, Beverly Sills sang the first performance in New York since Lily Pons performed it at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1943.

This opera is famous for the aria "Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!" (sometimes referred to as "Pour mon âme"), which has been called the "Mount Everest" for tenors. It features nine high Cs and comes comparatively early in the opera, giving the singer less time to warm up his voice. Luciano Pavarotti's stardom is reckoned from a performance alongside Joan Sutherland at the Met, when he "leapt over the 'Becher's Brook' of the string of high Cs with an aplomb that left everyone gasping."

More recently, Juan Diego Flórez performed "Ah! mes amis" at La Scala, and then, on popular demand, repeated it, "breaking a 74-year embargo on encores at the legendary Milanese opera house." He repeated this feat on 21 April 2008, the opening night of the 2007 London production at the Met, with Natalie Dessay as Marie. This Met production was broadcast in high definition video to movie theaters worldwide on 26 April 2008.

Today, it is frequently performed to the point that it has become part of the standard repertoire, with the database, Operabase, reporting that since 1 January 2012 and announced for the near future, 150 performances of 29 productions in 22 cities have occurred or will be staged.


Time: The Napoleonic Wars, early 19th century
Place: The Swiss Tyrol

Act 1

Fighting is raging in the Tyrols and the Marquise of Birkenfeld, who is traveling in the area, is alarmed to the point of needing smelling salts to be administered by her faithful steward, Hortensius. While a chorus of villagers express their fear, the Marquise does the same: Pour une femme de mon nom / "For a lady of my family, what a time, alas, is war-time". As the French can be seen to be moving away, all express their relief. Suddenly, and provoking the fear of the remaining women who scatter, Sergeant Sulpice of the Twenty-First Regiment of the French army [in the Italian version it is the Eleventh] arrives and assures everyone that the regiment will restore order.

Marie, the vivandière (canteen girl) of the Regiment, enters, and Sulpice is happy to see her: (Duet: Sulpice and Marie: Mais, qui vient? Tiens, Marie, notre fil / "But who is this? Well, well, if it isn't our daughter Marie".) Then, as he questions her about a young man she has been seen with, she identifies him as Tonio, a Tyrolean [in the Italian version: Swiss]. At that moment, Tonio is brought in as a prisoner, because he has been seen prowling around the camp. Marie saves him from the soldiers, who demand that he must die, by explaining that he had saved her life when she nearly fell while mountain-climbing. All toast Tonio, who pledges allegiance to France, and Marie is encouraged to sing the regimental song: (Aria: Chacun le sait, chacun le dit / "Everyone knows it, everyone says it".) Sulpice leads the soldiers off, taking Tonio with them, but he runs back to join her. She quickly tells him that he must gain the approval of her "fathers": the soldiers of the Regiment, who found her on the battlefield as an abandoned baby, and adopted her. Skeptical as to why Tonio has returned, he proclaims his love for her (Aria, then love duet with Marie: Dupuis l'instant ou, dans mes bras / "Ever since that moment when you fell and / I caught you, all trembling in my arms...") and then the couple express their love for each other.

At that point, Sulpice returns, surprising the young couple who leave. The Marquise arrives with Hortensius, initially afraid of the soldier, but is calmed by him. The Marquise explains that they are trying to return to her castle and asks for an escort. When hearing the name Birkenfeld, Sulpice immediately recognizes it from a letter found with Marie as an infant. It is discovered that the Marquise's long-lost niece is actually Marie, who returns and is surprised to be introduced to her aunt. The Marquise commands that Marie accompany her and that she will be taught to be a proper lady. Marie bids farewell to her beloved regiment just as Tonio enters proclaiming that he has enlisted in their ranks: (Aria: Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête / "Ah, my friends, what an exciting day".) In proclaiming his love for Marie, the soldiers are horrified, but agree to his pleading for her hand. However, they tell him that she is about to leave with her aunt: (Marie, aria: Il faut partir / "I must leave you!"). In a choral finale in which all join, she leaves with the Marquise and Tonio is enraged.

Act 2
Marie has been living in the Marquise's castle for several months. In a conversation with Sulpice, the Marquise describes how she has sought to modify most of her military manners and make her into a lady of fashion, suitable for her to be married to her nephew, the Duke of Krakenthorp. Although reluctant, Marie has agreed and Sulpice is asked to encourage her. Marie enters and is asked to play the piano, but appears to prefer more martial music when encouraged by Sulpice and sings the regimental song. The Marquise sits down at the piano and attempts to work through the piece with Marie who becomes more and more distracted and, along with Sulpice, takes up the regimental song.

Marie is left alone: (Aria: Par le rang et par l'opulence / "They have tried in vain to to dazzle me"). As she is almost reconciled to her fate, she hears martial music, and is joyously happy: (Cabaletta: Oh! transport! oh! douce ivresse / "Oh bliss! oh ectasy!") and the Regiment arrives. With it is Tonio, now an officer. The soldiers express their joy at seeing Marie, and Marie, Tonio and Sulpice are joyfully reunited, although he tries to tell her something she does not know but is ignored: (Trio, Marie, Sulpice, Tonio: Tous les trois réunis / "We three are reunited"). The Marquise enters, horrified to see soldiers. Tonio asks for Marie's hand, explaining that he risked his life for her: (Aria, Tonio: Pour me rapprocher de Marie, Je me enrôlai, pauvre soldat / "In order to woo Marie, I enlisted in the ranks") but she dismisses him scornfully. Tonio and Marie leave separately, and the Marquise confesses the truth to Sulpice: Marie is her own illegitimate daughter. In the circumstances, Sulpice promises that Marie will agree to her mother's wishes.

The Duchess and her nephew arrive and Marie enters with Sulpice, who has given her the news that the Marquise is her mother. Marie embraces her and decides she must obey. But at the last minute the soldiers of the Regiment storm in (Chorus: soldiers, then Tonio: Au secours de notre fille / "Our daughter needs our help") and it is revealed that Marie was a canteen girl. Indignantly, the Duchess leaves, but the other guests are impressed when Marie sings of her debt to the soldiers: (Aria, Marie: Quand le destin, au milieu de la guerre / "When fate , in the confusion of war, threw me, a baby, into their arms"). The Marquise is deeply moved, admits she is Marie's mother, and gives her consent to Marie and Tonio, amid universal rejoicing. (Final chorus: Salut a la France! / "Hurrah for France! For Happy times!"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marie - Mariella Devia
Tonio - Paul Austin Kelly
Sulplice - Bruno Pratico
La Maquise - Ewa Podles
Hortensius - Nicolas Rivenq
Caporale - Aldo Bramante
Un Paysan - Ernesto Gavazzi
La Duchesse - Edoardo Borioli

Conductor - Donato Renzetti
Orchestra - Teatro alla Scala
Chorus - Teatro alla Scala

Luciano Pavarotti - Ah mes amis - La Fille du Regiment 1972
Luciano Pavarotti's first ever performance of La fille du regiment at the Met. The audience goes wild, quite rightly too. This performance took place on the 17th of February 1972.

From act I of Donizetti's La fille du regiment

Live 1972 - The Metropolitan opera orchestra conducted by Richard Bonynge

Juan Diego Florez - La Fille du Regiment - Ah mes amis
Juan Diego Florez sings the famous tenor aria from Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment performed recently in Vienna (2007).
Don Pasquale - 1843
Don Pasquale is an opera buffa, or comic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti with an Italian libretto completed largely by Giovanni Ruffini as well as the composer. It was based on a libretto by Angelo Anelli for Stefano Pavesi's opera Ser Marcantonio written in 1810 but, on the published libretto, the author appears as "M.A."

Donizetti so dominated the preparation of the libretto that Ruffini refused to allow his name to be put on the score. This resulted in confusion over the identity of the librettist for more than half a century, but as Herbert Weinstock establishes, it was largely Ruffini's work and, in withholding his name from it as librettist, "Donizetti or Accursi may have thought that, lacking Ruffini's name, the authorship might as well be assigned to Accursi's initials as to a pseudonym".

The opera was first performed on 3 January 1843 by the Théâtre-Italien at the Salle Ventadour in Paris with great success and it is generally regarded as being the high point of the 19th century opera buffa tradition and, in fact, marking its ending.

Giulia Grisi, 1844

Composition history

Donizetti had just returned to Paris from Vienna in the autumn of 1842 and it was there that it was suggested to him by Jules Janin, the newly appointed director of the Théâtre-Italien, that he might compose a new opera for that house. Janin prepared a formal proposal on 27 September, but while no specific subject nor title was mentioned, Janin suggested that it should be a new opera buffa tailored to the talents of some major singers including Giulia Grisi, Antonio Tamburini, and Luigi Lablache.

At around the same time in September, the Italian émigré librettist Giovanni Ruffini, who lived in Paris, was approached by Michele Accursi (who is described as "Donizetti's Paris factotum, [an] Italian exile, and politically treacherous double agent") with the suggestion that Ruffini offer his services to Donizetti as a librettist. This is confirmed by a letter from Ruffini to his mother of around 5 October in which the librettist tells her of Accursi's suggestion that the composer would use a story which was written in 1810 and that he would need "a working stonemason of verses to remake the old libretto, to cut, change, add, plaster, and I don't know what." In addition, it is clear from another letter on 11 October to his mother that Ruffini is hard at work: "I've been eating up the paper, as they say. It's not a question of doing it well or doing it badly, but of doing it fast." By the end, Ruffini stated that so much of the refinement of the work had been done by Donizetti that he felt that "my freedom of action having been paralyzed by the maestro, I don't, so to say, recognize it as mine". Therefore, he refused to have his name associated with the libretto, which was eventually published by Casa Ricordi as by "M.A.", since it was Accursi who officially ceded the rights to Ricordi so long as his name was never associated with the work.

In the tradition of opera buffa, the opera makes reference to the stock characters of the commedia dell'arte. Pasquale is recognizable as the blustery Pantalone, Ernesto as the lovesick Pierrot, Malatesta as the scheming Scapino, and Norina as a wily Columbina. The false Notary echoes a long line of false officials as operatic devices.

With rehearsals in progress in December 1842, it appeared that there was general pessimism as to its success: "the atmosphere during rehearsals was frigid" states Weinstock and records the lack of interest from the management and the orchestra musicians. "The work had been condemned, judged", he concludes. However, during the evening of the final dress rehearsal, Donizetti added a new piece which he had already written for the tenor, Com'è gentil, which was designed for the third act. As for fears for the opera's success, the composer had none: "Have no fear for me...My work will be a success", he stated.

Performance history
At its premiere Don Pasquale was performed by four of the most celebrated singers of the day and was an immediate success. It was recognized at the time as Donizetti's comic masterpiece and, to this day, is still considered as such. Pasquale remains one of the most popular of his 66 operas, as well as being one of the three most popular Italian comic operas, the others being Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Donizetti's own L'elisir d'amore.

The first performance in Italy was at La Scala, Milan on 17 April 1843 with Ottavia Malvani (Norina), Napoleone Rossi (Pasquale), Leone Corelli (Ernesto), and Achille De Bassini (Malatesta). Its first performance in Vienna was at the Kärtnertortheater (in Italian) on 14 May 1843, a production in which Donizetti participated and added the comic baritone duet "Cheti, cheti, immantinente" from a discarded portion of his unperformed opera L'ange de Nisida. In England it was first presented on 29 June 1843 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London (in Italian).

The opera was translated into French by Gustave Vaëz and Alphonse Royer and given in Brussels on 11 August 1843, Lille on 9 November 1843, and at the Théâtre d'Orléans in New Orleans on 7 January 1845. The first Australian performance was presented in Sydney on 12 October 1854 at the Royal Victoria Theatre.

In the years since World War II, the opera has been given frequently. Specifically, as is noted on Operabase, since January 2012 it has been given 401 performances of 75 productions in 66 cities and, therefore, it can be regarded as being part of the standard repertoire.

Luigi Lablache as Don Pasquale



Time: Early 19th century
Place: Rome


Act 1
Scenes 1–3: A room in the home of Don Pasquale, at 9 o'clock

Ernesto has refused the woman that his uncle Don Pasquale had found for him, and as a result is to be disinherited. Ernesto declares his devotion to the young – but poor – widow Norina. In view of Ernesto's determination, Don Pasquale decides to marry in old age to produce his own heir, and anxiously awaits the arrival of his physician, Dr. Malatesta, who is determined to teach Don Pasquale how foolish he is being, but has been pretending to search for a suitable bride. Malatesta, confronted with Pasquale's impatience, mutters that he is a buffoon, but proceeds to describe the attributes of the bride-to-be (Bella siccome un angelo – "Beautiful like an angel"). Honest, modest and sweet – when pressed, Malatesta reveals she is in fact his sister. Overcome with joy, Pasquale demands to meet her at once, and sends Malatesta to fetch her, before singing of the love that has gripped him (Ah, un foco insolito – "A sudden fire").

Ernesto comes back and pleads with the Don to consult with his friend Malatesta – when he hears that Malatesta supposedly supports Pasquale, he is amazed at this apparent betrayal (Mi fa il destino mendico – "Fate has made a beggar of me"). Ernesto determines to elope and writes to tell Norina that all is lost.

Scenes 4–5: An apartment in the home of Norina

Norina sits alone, reading a book. She recites a passage, before laughing at the situation described and reflecting on her own temperament (So anch'io la virtù magica – I too know your magical virtues"). She is in cahoots with Dr. Malatesta and impatiently waits for him to come and explain his plan at which he had only hinted. A servant delivers the letter from Ernesto, which she quickly reads and is instantly dismayed.

Malatesta arrives to explain the stratagem, but Norina cuts him off and hands him the letter, which he reads aloud: Ernesto has announced his intention to leave Rome, and Europe altogether. Malatesta reassures her, saying that he has adapted his plan: Norina shall play the part of Malatesta's sister. Having arranged for his cousin to act as a notary, they will easily deceive the Don. Norina consents to play her part in the deception, and they discuss her strategies in a lively duet (Pronta son; purch'io non manchi – "I am ready; if I do not miss").

Staging of Don Pasquale at the Salle Ventadour in Paris (1843)

Act 2
A salon in the home of Don Pasquale

Ernesto is alone: lamenting his fate, he considers his decision to leave Rome (Cercherò lontana terra – "I shall seek a distant land"). He leaves the room just as Pasquale enters, dressed in his outdated finery, along with his servants, to whom he gives instructions to admit Malatesta on his arrival. He parades around in his grand costume, hoping it will conceal his advancing years.

Malatesta arrives with Norina in tow, and introduces her to Pasquale as his sister, Sofronia, fresh out of the convent. Pasquale is smitten, and Norina plays the part of a dutiful, modest and submissive lady, to Pasquale's satisfaction. Norina consents to the proposed marriage, which delights Pasquale. He wants to send for the notary to conduct the ceremony straight away – conveniently, Malatesta has brought one along, who waits in the antechamber.

Malatesta fetches the supposed notary, as servants arrange a table. Taking his seat, the "notary" writes out a marriage contract as dictated by Malatesta and Pasquale (Fra da una parta – "Between, on one hand"), where the Don bequeaths all his estate to be administrated by Sofronia. The contract is quickly drawn up: Pasquale signs but, before Norina can affix her signature, Ernesto bursts in. Intending to say a final farewell, he is amazed to see Norina about to marry Pasquale. However, Malatesta persuades him not to say anything (Figliol non mi far scene – "Son, don't make a scene"), and he is forced to act as the final witness much to Don Pasquale's delight.

As soon as the contract is signed, Norina abandons her pretence of docility, and refuses Pasquale's embrace. She announces her intention to teach him manners, and to have Ernesto as a gallant to accompany her on evening strolls. Pasquale is horrified at this transformation, while Malatesta and Ernesto can barely conceal their amusement (È rimasto là impietrato – "He stands there, petrified"). Summoning the household staff, Norina recites a long list of demands – more servants (young and handsome at that), carriages and horses, furniture – and instructs them to spare no expense doubling all their wages. Pasquale is stricken at his misfortune, so Malatesta urges him to go to bed.

Act 3
Scenes 1–5: A room in the home of Don Pasquale

Pasquale sits in a room, surrounded by piles of newly purchased jewels, dresses and the like, as the servants bustle in and out of Norina's apartment (I diamente presto presto – "The diamonds, quickly, quickly"). Dismayed by the piles of bills and invoices, the Don summons the courage to confront his tyrannical new wife. Norina emerges, dressed to go out. He attempts to reason with her, but she pays little heed (Dove corre in tanta fretta – "Where are you running in such a hurry"). He suggests that if she leaves, he may not allow her to return, an idea that she meets with patronising insincerity (Via, caro sposino – "There, there, dear little husband") but the discussion ends in her slapping him. As she exits, she drops a note which Pasquale picks up and reads. The note is addressed to Sofronia, arranging a meeting in the garden with its unnamed, admiring author. Pasquale calls for a servant to summon Malatesta, before leaving the room.

The servants return and, amongst themselves, at once complain at the amount of work they are being made to do, and reveal how much they are enjoying the farcical drama developing between Pasquale and his new wife (Che interminabile andirivieni! – "Such endless coming and going!"). At the approach of Malatesta and Ernesto, however, they exit, assured of more entertainment to come. Malatesta reminds Ernesto of the finer points of their plan, and the latter leaves. The doctor moves forward to greet Don Pasquale, who tells him of Norina's intended assignation, and his own plan to expose her unfaithfulness before a magistrate. Malatesta persuades him to moderate his plan and Pasquale, believing him an ally, consents to his conditions, while plotting his revenge on Norina (Aspetta, aspetta, cara sposina – "Wait, wait, dear little wife").

Scenes 6–7: The garden, adjoining Pasquale's house

In the garden, as night draws in, Ernesto sings of his love for Norina, as he waits for her arrival (Com'è gentil – "How gentle"). At last, Norina emerges, and they express their love: (Tornami a dir che m'ami – "Say again that you love me"). Don Pasquale and Malatesta have observed and, as they reveal themselves, Ernesto covers himself with a cloak and runs to the house. Pasquale tries to confront Norina – he has caught her in flagrante – but this only provokes a fight that leaves the Don spluttering. She refuses to leave at his demand, so Malatesta, as per his agreement with Pasquale, takes over. Pretending to negotiate with Norina/Sofronia, he tells Pasquale that the only way to make her leave will be to allow Ernesto to marry his beloved, whom "Sofronia" apparently despises. Pasquale consents, and calls out to the house, from which Ernesto and the servants emerge. He instructs Ernesto to send for his would-be bride, but Malatesta reveals that Norina is in fact the woman Pasquale thinks he married, while the real Sofronia remains in a convent. All are reconciled, and the moral of the story – not to marry in old age – is revealed in a playful quartet (La moral di tutto questo – "The moral of all this").

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donizetti - DON PASQUALE-Furlanetto, Kunde,Focile-Muti 1994 La Scala sub español
Don Pasquale: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Norina: Nuccia Focile
Ernesto: Gregory Kunde
Malatesta: Lucio Gallo
Un notario: Claudio Giombi

Director: Ricardo Muti
Teatro alla Scala1994

Arturo Toscanini "Overture" Don Pasquale
Overture from Don Pasquale by
Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini, conductor
Don Pasquale Dress Rehearsal
Anna Netrebko in the final dress rehearsal of Don Pasquale.
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