Alahor in Granata

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Alahor in Granata is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to an anonymous Italian libretto (indicated only with the initials "M.A.") after Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian's text Gonzalve de Cordoue, ou Granade reconquise (1793). However, it seems that the original basis of the libretto goes back to one by Felice Romani written for Meyerbeer in 1821, which in turn can be traced back through another iteration to begin with the de Florian version. [1]

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Gaetano Donizetti 19th-century Italian opera composer

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.

Libretto text used for an extended musical work

A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.

Contents

While Donizetti was spending most of 1825/26 in Palermo as musical director of the Teatro Carolino, Alahor in Granata was written to be presented in December 1825, but the premiere was delayed until 7 January 1826 and given at the Teatro Carolino with critical and popular success.

Palermo Comune in Sicily, Italy

Palermo is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old. Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Performance history

The score was eventually lost, but a copy – "not in the composer's hand" [1] – was subsequently discovered in Boston in 1970. Finally, the autograph score came to light a few years later in Palermo. [1] Some of the music was recycled into Emilia di Liverpool in 1828 and L'Elisir d'amore in 1832.

<i>Emilia di Liverpool</i> opera

Emilia di Liverpool is a dramma semiserio, ("half-serious") dramatic opera, in two acts with music by Gaetano Donizetti. Giuseppe Checcherini wrote the Italian libretto after the anonymous libretto for Vittorio Trento's Emilia di Laverpaut, itself based on Stefano Scatizzi's play of the same name. It premiered on 28 July 1824 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples.

The first contemporary production, in Seville in 1998, has been preserved on DVD.

Seville Place in Andalusia, Spain

Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 690,000 as of 2016, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Southwestern Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C (95 °F).

Roles

Antonio Tamburini, 1828 Antonio Tamburini II Litho.jpg
Antonio Tamburini, 1828
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 7 January 1826
(Conductor: – )
Zobeida, daughter of Mohamed, sister of Alahor soprano Elisabetta Ferron
Alahor, son of Mohamed baritone Antonio Tamburini
Muley-Hassem, King of Granata contralto Marietta Gioia Tamburini
Sulima, favorite slave of Zobeida mezzo-soprano Carlotta Tomassetti
Alamar, head of the tribe tenor Berardo Winter
Ismaele, false friend of Alamartenor Salvatore Patti
Tribesmen, soldiers, people

Synopsis

Time: The middle ages
Place: Granada

Recordings

YearCast
(Alahor, Zobeida, Hassem, Alamar)
Conductor,
Opera house and orchestra
Label [2]
1998Simone Alaimo,
Patrizia Pace,
Vivica Genaux,
Juan Diego Flórez
Josep Pons,
Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Chorus of Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla
(Recorded at performances in Seville, October)
CD: Almaviva
Cat: DS 0125

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Osborne 1994, p. 161
  2. Source for recording information: Recording(s) of Alahor in Granata on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

Cited sources

Charles Thomas Osborne was an Australian journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was the assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Other sources

William Ashbrook was an American musicologist, writer, journalist, and academic. He was perhaps best noted as a historian, researcher and popularizer of the works of Italian opera composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Stanley John Sadie was an influential and prolific British musicologist, music critic, and editor. He was editor of the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), which was published as the first edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.