Imelda de' Lambertazzi
Imelda de' Lambertazzi is a melodramma tragico or tragic opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, based on the tragedy Imelda by Gabriele Sperduti. It received its first performance on 5 September 1830 at Naples; the opera was not a great success and performances of it are rare. A concert performance was given on 10 March 2007 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, conducted by Mark Elder, recorded by Opera Rara. Time: 16th century Place: BolognaImelda Lambertazzi loves Bonifacio, heir of the Geremei; when Bonifacio proposes peace between the families, to be sealed by their marriage, he is met with the ire of Imelda's father and brother. When Bonifacio attempts to see Imelda, he is stabbed with a poisoned dagger by her brother. Imelda pleads for forgiveness from her father before expiring herself, having sucked the poison from Bonifacio's wound. Notes Cited sources Osborne, The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini and Bellini, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3Other sources Allitt, John Stewart, Donizetti: in the light of Romanticism and the teaching of Johann Simon Mayr, Shaftesbury: Element Books, Ltd.
Ashbrook, William and His Operas, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23526-X Ashbrook, William, "Donizetti, Gaetano" in Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Vol. One. London: MacMillan Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-333-73432-7 ISBN 1-56159-228-5 Ashbrook and Sarah Hibberd, in Holden, The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4. Pp. 224 – 247. Black, Donizetti’s Operas in Naples, 1822—1848. London: The Donizetti Society. Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera, 1597-1940, 2nd edition. Rowman and Littlefield Sadie, Stanley,. 2nd edition. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-19-517067-2. ISBN 0-19-517067-9 OCLC 419285866. Weinstock, Herbert and the World of Opera in Italy and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, New York: Pantheon Books. LCCN 63-13703 Donizetti Society website Libretto
La Favorite is a grand opera in four acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a French-language libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, based on the play Le comte de Comminges by Baculard d'Arnaud. The opera concerns the romantic struggles of the King of Castile, Alfonso XI and his mistress, the "favourite" Leonora, against the backdrop of the political wiles of receding Moorish Spain and the life of the Catholic Church, it premiered on December 1840 at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, France. Donizetti had been composing an opera by the name of Le Duc d'Albe as his second work for the Opéra in Paris. However, the director, Léon Pillet, objected to an opera without a prominent role for his mistress, mezzo-soprano Rosine Stoltz. Donizetti therefore abandoned Le Duc d'Albe and borrowed from L'ange de Nisida, an unrealized project from 1839, to create La Favorite. Donizetti wrote the entire final act in three to four hours, with the exception of the cavatina and a part of a duet, which were added at the rehearsal stage.
The Opéra's original production had costumes designed by Paul Lormier and sets produced by two teams of scenic artists: René-Humanité Philastre and Charles-Antoine Cambon, Charles Séchan, Léon Feuchère, Jules Diéterle and Édouard Desplechin. Revivals at the Palais Garnier, on 25 January 1875 and 3 February 1896, increased the scale of the staging but remained true to the original concept of 1840; the opera continued to be performed each season at the Opéra up to 1894, remaining in its repertoire until 1918, as well as maintaining a presence in the French provinces through this period. In 1897, Arturo Toscanini conducted the work in Bergamo for the Donizetti centenary, it was revived in Padua under the title of Leonora di Guzman in 1842, at La Scala as Elda in 1843 with Marietta Alboni in the title role, though Donizetti himself was not involved in these productions. The London premiere was in English at Drury Lane in 1843 with soprano Emma Romer, in French two years at Covent Garden, in Italian at Her Majesty's in 1847.
New Orleans first saw the piece in 1843 in French, the Metropolitan Opera mounted a production 1895. Italian revivals in the mid-20th century took place at La Scala Milan in 1934 with Ebe Stignani and Pertile, in Rome a year with Cobelli and Gigli, followed by further revivals in both cities, several featuring Stignani in the title role. In 1978, the opera was revived at the Metropolitan Opera with Shirley Verrett and Luciano Pavarotti, having not been heard since Enrico Caruso sang it there in 1905, 72 years previously. Among other performances, the Bavarian State Opera presented a new production of the work in the original French version in 2016, with Elīna Garanča, tenor Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecień in the leading roles. Time: 1340 Place: Royaume de CastilleA love triangle involving the King of Castile, Alfonso XI, his mistress Leonora, her lover Fernando, the story unfolds against the background of the Moorish invasions of Spain and power struggles between church and state. Scene 1 In the Monastery of St James, the monks are making their way to worship.
Superior Balthazar, father of the Queen of Castile, enters with Fernand. Balthazar knows. Fernand confesses that he has fallen in love with a as yet unknown, lady, his faith in God remains. Balthazar angrily sends Fernand out of the monastery, warning him of the dangers of the outside world, he predicts that Fernand will one day return to a disappointed if wiser man. Scene 2 Fernand has found his lady, Léonor, declared his love and received it in return, but he is still unaware of her real identity, she has arranged to meet him on the island of Leon by boat. He is met by her companion, who impresses upon him the need for secrecy. Léonor enters, she tells him that they can never marry and that they must not meet again, but hands him a document to help him in his future. Shortly afterwards the arrival of the King is announced and Léonor leaves. Fernand is left to speculate about her elevated social position. Reading the document she has left him, he finds a commission in the army — an opportunity for advancement.
Alfonse has taken Alcazar. In conversation with the courtier Don Gaspar, the King expresses his pleasure at Fernand's bravery. Alone, the King expresses his desire to divorce the Queen and marry her, he realizes that this will provoke the opposition of his powerful father-in-law Balthazar, backed by the Pope. Léonor expresses her anguish at remaining his mistress rather than his Queen; the King suspects. Don Gaspar enters with news, she makes no denial, but at that moment Balthazar enters intent on forcing the King to abandon his plans for the royal divorce. Alfonse is to honour Fernand for his role in the war, he asks Fernand what reward he would like and Fernand asks to marry the woman who has inspired him in his bravery. Alfonse asks who she Fernand points to Léonor; the King is astonished to learn. In an abrupt change of mind, he orders Léonor to marry within one hour. Léonor is left with mixed feelings of delight, she sends Inès to him. How
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizetti's close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi. Donizetti was born in Bergamo in Lombardy. Although he did not come from a musical background, at an early age he was taken under the wing of composer Simon Mayr who had enrolled him by means of a full scholarship in a school which he had set up. There he received detailed training in the arts of counterpoint. Mayr was instrumental in obtaining a place for the young man at the Bologna Academy, where, at the age of 19, he wrote his first one-act opera, the comedy Il Pigmalione, which may never have been performed during his lifetime. Over the course of his career, Donizetti wrote 70 operas. An offer in 1822 from Domenico Barbaja, the impresario of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, which followed the composer's ninth opera, led to his move to that city and his residency there which lasted until the production of Caterina Cornaro in January 1844.
In all, Naples presented 51 of Donizetti's operas. Before 1830, success came with his comic operas, the serious ones failing to attract significant audiences. However, his first notable success came with an opera seria, Zoraida di Granata, presented in 1822 in Rome. In 1830, when Anna Bolena was premiered, Donizetti made a major impact on the Italian and international opera scene and this shifted the balance of success away from comedic operas, although after that date, his best-known works included comedies such as L'elisir d'amore and Don Pasquale. Significant historical dramas did succeed. Up to that point, all of his operas had been set to Italian libretti. Donizetti found himself chafing against the censorship limitations which existed in Italy. From about 1836, he became interested in working in Paris, where he saw much greater freedom to choose subject matter, in addition to receiving larger fees and greater prestige. Starting in 1838 with an offer from the Paris Opéra for two new works, he spent a considerable part of the following ten years in that city, set several operas to French texts as well as overseeing staging of his Italian works.
The first opera was a French version of the then-unperformed Poliuto which, in April 1840, was revised to become Les martyrs. Two new operas were given in Paris at that time; as the 1840s progressed, Donizetti moved between Naples, Rome and Vienna, continuing to compose and stage his own operas as well as those of other composers. But from around 1843, severe illness began to limit his activities. By early 1846 he was obliged to be confined to an institution for the mentally ill and, by late 1847, friends had him moved back to Bergamo, where he died in April 1848; the youngest of three sons, Donizetti was born in 1797 in Bergamo's Borgo Canale quarter, located just outside the city walls. His family was poor and had no tradition of music, his father Andrea being the caretaker of the town pawnshop. Simone Mayr, a German composer of internationally successful operas, had become maestro di cappella at Bergamo's principal church in 1802, he founded the Lezioni Caritatevoli school in Bergamo in 1805 for the purpose of providing musical training, including classes in literature, beyond what choirboys ordinarily received up until the time that their voices broke.
In 1807, Andrea Donizetti attempted to enroll both his sons, but the elder, was considered too old. Gaetano was accepted. While not successful as a choirboy during the first three trial months of 1807, Mayr was soon reporting that Gaetano "surpasses all the others in musical progress" and he was able to persuade the authorities that the young boy's talents were worthy of keeping him in the school, he remained there for nine years, until 1815. However, as Donizetti scholar William Ashbrook notes, in 1809 he was threatened with having to leave because his voice was changing. In 1810 he applied for and was accepted by the local art school, the Academia Carrara, but it is not known whether he attended classes. In 1811, Mayr once again intervened. Having written both libretto and music for a "pasticcio-farsa", Il piccolo compositore di musica, as the final concert of the academic year, Mayr cast five young students, among them his young pupil Donizetti as "the little composer"; as Ashbrook states, this "was nothing less than Mayr's argument that Donizetti be allowed to continue his musical studies".
The piece was performed on 13 September 1811 and included the composer character stating the following: Ah, by Bacchus, with this aria / I'll have universal applause. / They'll say to me, "Bravo, Maestro! / I, with a sufficiently modest air, / Will go around with my head bent... / I’ll have eulogies in the newspaper / I know how to make myself immortal. In reply to the chiding which comes from the other four characters in the piece after the "little composer"'s boasts, in the drama the "composer" responds with: I have a vast mind, swift talent, ready fantasy—and I'm a thunderbolt at composing; the performance included a waltz which Donizetti played and for which he received credit in the libretto. In singing this piece, all five young me
Maria di Rohan
Maria di Rohan is a melodramma tragico, or tragic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Salvadore Cammarano, after Lockroy and Edmond Badon's Un duel sous le cardinal de Richelieu, which had played in Paris in 1832; the opera premiered at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna on 5 June 1843. In newer times, it was staged by the Grand Théâtre de Genève in 2001 and by the Donizetti Festival, Bergamo, in 2011; the opera was performed in concert by Opera Rara, London, in 2009 and by Washington Concert Opera in 2018. The story of Maria Di Rohan is both complicated. Chalais loves Maria, forced to secretly marry Chevreuse. Chevreuse is in deep trouble. Time: Early 17th century Place: Paris Maria seeks Chalais’ help. Chalais offers it, hoping that Maria will join him not knowing that she is married to Chevreuse. Chalais succeeds and Chevreuse is pardoned. Gondi appears on insults Maria. Chalais challenges him to a duel, Chevreuse offers to be the second. Richelieu is ousted from the court, Chalais is offered his post.
Everything looks great for him, but Maria is worried. Richelieu's demise means; when he points to Maria, Chalais’ world begins to collapse. Chalais encloses her portrait. Both are hidden in his desk. He’s visited by Maria who tells him that Richelieu has regained power, she tells Chalais to flee or he will be executed. Chevreuse is heard Maria hides in an adjoining chamber. Chevreuse tells Chalais that they must leave for the Gondi duel and Chalais says he will follow. Of course he doesn’t follow, but stays to profess his love for Maria and she admits that she has always and continues to love him; when he leaves for the duel, it is too late. Chevreuse is wounded. Chevreuse’s residence He tells Maria and Chalais that he will arrange to have Chalais escape from the city. Chalais leaves, again, everything looks good at first, but disaster strikes. Chalais’ letter and Maria’s portrait are discovered by one of the courtiers in Chalais’ desk. Chalais tells Maria about the letters and she says all is lost. Once again she tells him to flee through a secret passage, he does, but tells her he will return if she does not follow him within an hour.
Maria sings Havvi un Dio che in sua clemenza. The courtier gives the letter and portrait to Chevreuse and he is alternatively nostalgic and enraged, he vows revenge. Chalais returns for Maria through the secret passage. In a final trio Maria pleads for Chevreuse to kill her, Chalais says he doesn’t fear death, Chevreuse thunders that Chalais’ death is imminent, he gives Chalais the two race out. A shot is heard. Chevreuse is furious, he throws the letter and portrait to the floor before Maria and cries out La vita coll’infamia A te, donna infidel / "Life with infamy to you, faithless woman". Note: Donizetti wrote a culminating cabaletta for Maria, but crossed it out, preferring to end the opera in a distinctly non-bel canto, but dramatic manner. Notes Sources Allitt, John Stewart, Donizetti: in the light of Romanticism and the teaching of Johann Simon Mayr, Shaftesbury: Element Books, Ltd. Ashbrook, William and His Operas, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23526-X Ashbrook, William, "Donizetti, Gaetano" in Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Vol. One.
London: MacMillan Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-333-73432-7 ISBN 1-56159-228-5 Ashbrook and Sarah Hibberd, in Holden, The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4. Pp. 224 – 247. Black, Donizetti’s Operas in Naples, 1822—1848. London: The Donizetti Society. Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera, 1597-1940, 2nd edition. Rowman and Littlefield Osborne, The Bel Canto Operas of Rossini and Bellini, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3 Sadie, Stanley,. 2nd edition. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-19-517067-2. ISBN 0-19-517067-9 OCLC 419285866. Weinstock, Herbert and the World of Opera in Italy and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, New York: Pantheon Books. LCCN 63-13703 Donizetti Society website Italian libretto
L'ange de Nisida
L'ange de Nisida is an opera semiseria in four acts by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, from a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz. Parts of the libretto are considered analogous with the libretto for Giovanni Pacini's Adelaide e Comingio, the final scene is based on the François-Thomas-Marie de Baculard d'Arnaud play Les Amants malheureux, ou le comte de Comminges. Donizetti worked on the opera in late 1839—its final page is dated 27 December 1839; because the subject matter involved the mistress of a Neapolitan king, may thus have caused difficulties with the Italian censors, Donizetti decided that the opera should be presented in France. The theater company Donizetti contracted went bankrupt. L'ange received its premiere in its original form in 2018 in a concert performance at London's Royal Opera House. L'ange de Nisida incorporated many of the manuscript pages from Adelaide, an unfinished score that Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti was working on in 1834, from a libretto of unknown origin.
This libretto contained elements from the 1790 Parisian play Les Amants malheureux, ou le comte de Comminges by François-Thomas-Marie de Baculard d'Arnaud. In his book Donizetti and his Operas, musicologist William Ashbrook states that the Adelaide libretto has similarities to that of the Giovanni Pacini opera Adelaide e Comingio, whose libretto was written by Gaetano Rossi. Donizetti is believed to have taken the manuscript for Adelaide to Paris in 1838; because the subject matter of L'ange involved the mistress of a Neapolitan king, may thus have caused difficulties with the Italian censors, Donizetti decided that the opera should be presented in France. Additionally, in September 1839, the French press had announced La Fiancée du Tyrol, a translation of Donizetti's 1833 opera Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo. In October 1839, he wrote to a friend in Naples: "La Fiancée du Tyrol will be Il furioso amplified, L'ange de Nisida will be new." Donizetti began work on L'ange shortly thereafter.
Donizetti completed L'ange de Nisida on 27 December 1839, the date on the final page of the autograph score. He had been working on Le duc d'Albe, but postponed work on the half-completed score in favor of L'ange and La fille du régiment. Although Donizetti noted in correspondence to his close friend Tommaso Persico in Naples that L'ange was "an opera in three acts", both the autograph score and Donizetti's contract with Anténor Joly, the owner of the theater company Donizetti contracted, make clear that L'ange had four acts. Regardless, Donizetti's letter has caused confusion among opera scholars. For example, The Musical Times journalist Winton Dean wrote of the Italian version of La favorite in 1979: "t was expanded from an unperformed three-act French opera, L'ange de Nisida." Ashbrook speculates. On 5 January 1840, Donizetti signed a rehearsal and performance contract with his librettists and Anténor Joly, operating a company named Théâtre de la Renaissance and giving performances at the Salle Ventadour in Paris.
Théâtre de la Renaissance chose L'ange over Richard Wagner's Das Liebesverbot. Joly's company had premiered the French version of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor the previous year, L'ange was meant to be its successor; the contract, on display at the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris, stipulates that L'ange be performed uninterrupted twenty times unless three consecutive performances sold poorly, that Joly could not premiere any other opera until the revenue from L'ange started to decline. The contract contains nothing about Donizetti's compensation. L'ange was set to begin rehearsal on 1 February 1840. Donizetti had two other operas in various stages of preparation at other theaters during this time: Les martyrs and La fille du régiment. In January, Joly terminated all opera productions of the Théâtre de la Renaissance company due to financial hardship, despite a reported 5,000-franc loan from Donizetti. Joly tried to keep the operation afloat by staging ballets, but it closed in May 1840.
He filed for bankruptcy and therefore avoided paying Donizetti the large fee owed for backing out of the production. Writing for the Cambridge Opera Journal, Mark Everist referred to L'ange as one of "the most spectacular casualties of the collapse of music drama at the Théâtre de la Renaissance". Donizetti managed to retrieve the score of L'ange de Nisida from Joly's company and reworked it as La favorite in September 1840 for a December premiere in Italy. To circumvent the Italian censors Donizetti agreed to plot modifications; the presence and influence of L'ange is evident in Donizetti's autograph score of La favorite, which features "large chunks" of L'ange "cut up and interleaved" in which new character names and text for La favorite overwrite the old. The final page of L'ange was used as the final page of La favorite. Donizetti's contract for La favorite demanded a 1 December 1840 premiere, leaving him little time for dramatic changes. In his 1965 biography Donizetti, Ashbrook surmises that this tight deadline gave rise to the legend that Donizetti composed the last act of La favorite in a single night.
In fact, the libretto of L'ange and the autograph score of La favorite make clear that the final act of La favorite was completed long before Donizetti began the rest of it in September—Donizetti lifted it from L'ange with the exception of two solo passages. He brought in lib
Pia de' Tolomei
For other meanings, see Pia de' Tolomei. Pia de' Tolomei was an Italian noblewoman from Siena. According to a tradition recorded by early commentators on Dante's Divine Comedy, she is can be identified as the'Pia' mentioned in Canto V of Purgatory, where Dante and Virgil meet those were penitent at the time of their sudden violent deaths – her tale follows that of Bonconte da Montefeltro, she states that she came from Siena and was killed by her husband in the Maremma: Do thou remember me who am the Pia. She refers bitterly to her murderer for his disregard of his marital vows to her and tells Dante her story, she asks the poet – once he has rested from his long journey – to remember her among the living and thus speed her journey through Purgatory. Dante uses the name ` la Pia' not ` Pia', she asks him to pray for her since she knows none of her family do so. The identification of this'Pia' with Pia de' Tolomei is now universally accepted, although conclusive documentary proof of this has yet to be found.
Early commentators on the poem noted that she was to be identified as a woman of the Tolomei family in Siena, wife of Nello dei Pannocchieschi, lord of Castel di Pietra in Maremma, podestà of Volterra and Lucca, captain of the Guelph Taglia from 1284 and alive until at least 1322. There is a surviving record of his second marriage, as a widower, to Margherita Aldobrandeschi, countess of Sovana and Pitigliano, they had one son, Binduccio or Bindoccio, murdered, aged thirteen, when Orsini assassins, threw him down a well in Massa Marittima. The surviving archives do not name Nello's first wife. Nello owned Castel di Pietra in Maremma, where it has been suggested he murdered Pia in 1297, either after she found out he was having an affair with Aldobrandeschi or to clear the way for his second marriage. Among the early commentators, Jacopo della Lana, l'Ottimo and Francesco di Bartolo claim that she may have been killed for some crime, while Benvenuto and an anonymous Florentine of the 14th century assert it was due to her husband's jealousy.
Against this identification, the Tolomei family had no daughters or nieces named Pia in Nello's time. However, one male of the family did marry a woman named Pia Malavolti – the marriage did not last long and so the Tolomei decided to have Nello, the head of the family, remove her to Maremma, where she died in misery murdered. A related theory is that Pia was born a Malvoti and entered the Tolomei family by her marriage to Baldo d'Aldobrandino de' Tolomei. According to this story, Pia was accused of adultery by her husband kidnapped by Nello and taken to Maremma, where she died. Novelle, collection by Matteo Bandello La Pia de' Tolomei: leggenda romantica, verse novella by Bartolomeo Sestini Pia de' Tolomei, tragedy by Carlo Marenco Pia de' Tolomei, popular poem by Giuseppe Moroni, known as il Niccheri Pia de' Tolomei, novel by Carolina Invernizio Pia de' Tolomei, short poem by Giuseppe Baldi Pia de' Tolomei. Romanzo storico, novel by Diana Da Lodi La leggenda della Pia, novel by Decimo Mori Dialogo della Palude by Marguerite Yourcenar Pia de' Tolomei.
Composizione in ottava rima secondo la tradizione cantata, re-issue of the short poem by Giuseppe Moroni, known as il Niccheri, edited by Guglielmo Amerighi Pia de' Tolomei, play by Luca Rossi detto Lam Pia de' Tolomei e le "Notizie sulle Maremme toscane", short poem by Bartolomeo Sestini, edited by Alessandro Bencistà, Matrimonio di sangue, novel by Mario Sica La Gemma di Siena by Marina Fiorato Pia de' Tolomei, opera by Gaetano Donizetti and Salvadore Cammarano, using the verse novella by Bartolomeo Sestini La Pia, dalla Divina Commedia di Dante, melody by Antonino Palminteri Dante's Prayer, song by Loreena McKennitt in the album The Book of Secrets ¿Pia?, one-act musical dialogue by Azio Corghi La Divina Commedia, opera by Marco Frisina Pia come la canto io, concept album by Gianna Nannini La Pia de' Tolomei, rock opera by Gianna Nannini, libretto by Pia Pera Pia de' Tolomei, directed by Gerolamo Lo Savio Pia de' Tolomei, directed by Esodo Pratelli Pia de' Tolomei, directed by Sergio Grieco Umberto Bosco e Giovanni Reggio, La Divina Commedia – Purgatorio, Le Monnier, 1988 Bartolomeo Sestini, Pia de' Tolomei, Milan, 1887.
Il falegname di Livonia
Il falegname di Livonia, o Pietro il grande, czar delle Russie is an 1819 opera buffa in two acts with music by Gaetano Donizetti set to a libretto by Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini. The libretto was based in part on Felice Romani's libretto for Giovanni Pacini's opera Il falegname di Livonia, which had just been presented at La Scala in Milan on 12 April 1819. Another source was Alexandre Duval's comedy Le menuisier de Livonie, ou Les illustres voyageurs. Donizetti's Il falegname di Livonia was premiered on 26 December 1819 at the opening of the 1819-1820 Carnival season at the Teatro San Samuele in Venice, it was the fourth of Donizetti’s operas to be performed during his lifetime and the first to achieve "more than one production". It had about seven stagings until 1827, when its last known performance in the 19th century took place; the opera was neglected until 2003 when it was given a performance in St Petersburg, thanks to the artistic director of the St Petersburg Chamber Opera, Yuri Alexandrov, who spent three years in search of the score for the opera, which, so it appeared, had been lost forever.
The painstaking work yielded results: the score was restored fragment by fragment. The Russian premiere took place on 27 May 2003 at the St Petersburg Chamber Opera, with staging by Yuri Alexandrov and the Russian and Italian versions of the libretto by Yuri Dimitrin. In 2004, the opera was presented by the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca; those performances were recorded. Time: Late 17th century Place: The Baltic State of Livonia in an unnamed town under Russian rule. Carlo, a carpenter, is in love with the orphan Annetta, he claims to be of noble origin and shows that he has a bit of a temper when the tsar and his wife, arrive, both travelling incognito. They are looking for the tsarina’s lost brother, have reason to suspect that it might be Carlo; the tsar asks Madame Fritz, about this carpenter. When Carlo enters, he does not know who he is rather insolent. An argument ensues, with Peter threatening Carlo with dire consequences; the town magistrate, Ser Cuccupis gets into an argument with Peter.
This magistrate has pretensions of grandeur and goes so far as to threaten him with his friend, the tsar. Peter decides to pull rank on the magistrate, tells him that he is Menshikov, a high officer of the tsar; the magistrate has Carlo imprisoned, he is about to be convicted when Madame Fritz runs in with some documents proving that he is Catherine’s brother. When Carlo becomes aware that he is the tsar's brother-in-law, he introduces Annetta to the imperial couple. Again, not knowing the true identity of the couple, he warns them that the tsar must never see her because she is the daughter of the traitor hetman Ivan Mazepa; when told that Mazepa is dead, the false Menshikov pardons the girl. The captain of the troops tells the magistrate that Menshikov is the tsar. Hoping that this would be an opportunity to advance himself, the magistrate tries to intervene, but since the tsar has recognized him for what he is, he is fired from his position of authority and is ordered to pay a fine. Peter, Catherine and Annetta leave for St Petersburg.
Note: The Act 2 sextet is included in A Hundred Years of Italian Opera, 1810-1820. Notes Cited sources Osborne, Charles; the Bel Canto Operas of Rossini and Bellini. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-71-3. Other sources Allitt, John Stewart, Donizetti: in the light of Romanticism and the teaching of Johann Simon Mayr, Shaftesbury: Element Books, Ltd. Ashbrook, William and His Operas. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23526-X. Ashbrook, William. London: MacMillan Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-333-73432-7 ISBN 1-56159-228-5 Ashbrook and Sarah Hibberd, in Holden, The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4. Pp. 224 – 247. Loewenberg, Alfred. Annals of Opera, 1597-1940, 2nd edition. Rowman and Littlefield Sadie, Stanley,. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-56159-239-5. OCLC 419285866. Weinstock, Herbert and the World of Opera in Italy and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, New York: Pantheon Books. LCCN 63-13703 Donizetti Society website Libretto 1 Libretto 2 Il Falegname di Livonia, ossia Pietro Il Grande, Russian premiere presented by the St Petersburg Chamber Opera Company.
Kaufman, Tom, "Donizetti: Pietro il Grande, on operatoday.com, 13 Sep 2005