Alfredo il grande

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Alfredo il grande (Alfred the Great) is a melodramma serio or serious opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Andrea Leone Tottola wrote the Italian libretto, which may have been derived from Johann Simon Mayr's 1818 opera of the same name. The opera tells the story of the Anglo-Saxon king Alfred the Great.


This opera, with its "highly Rossini-influenced score" [1] was Donizetti's first exploration into British history, but it turned out to be a spectacular failure. It received its premiere on 2 July 1823 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and this also became its last performance.


RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 2 July 1823
(Conductor: Nicola Festa)
Alfredo, King of England tenor Andrea Nozzari
Amalia, his Queen soprano Elisabetta Ferron
Eduardo, General of the English army bass Pio Botticelli
Atkins, General of the Danish armybass Michele Benedetti
Enrichetta, an English country girl mezzo-soprano Anna Maria Cecconi
Margherita, another country girlsoprano Gaetana Gorini
Rivers, a Danetenor Gaetano Chizzola
Guglielmo, pastoretenor Massimo Orlandini
Chorus of shepherdesses, English warriors, Danish warriors, armed shepherds


Time: The ninth century
Place: Isle of Athelny in Somerset




  1. Osborne 1994, p. 153

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