Don Gregorio is an 1826 opera by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti and adapted from his popular 1824 opera buffa L'ajo nell'imbarazzo (The Tutor Embarrassed), which had enjoyed considerable success when presented at the Teatro Valle in Rome on 4 February 1824.
When Francesco Tortoli was interested in producing it in Naples, it was determined that L'ajo nell'imbarazzo was unsuitable as it stood. Donizetti then signed a contract with Tortoli for 300 ducats to adapt it into a new opera, Don Gregorio, and to compose one further opera. For the adaptation, Donizetti composed some additional music, revised the recitatives into spoken dialogue, and translated the role of Don Gregorio into the Neapolitan dialect. The opera premiered at the Teatro Nuovo on 11 June 1826.
Having been given under its original title, Donizetti revisions became Don Gregorio, and with that name, it premiered at the Teatro Nuovo. That same year, it also was given at La Scala and many Italian theatres. On 28 July 1846 it was first given in London,but "seems to have disappeared from view until it turned up again in Italy in the twentieth century". However, under one or other of its names, the opera was presented as late as 1866 in Milan and 1879 in Venice.
20th century and beyond
Don Gregorio was presented at the Teatro Donizetti in the composer's home town of Bergamo in 1959 and an Italian TV production was broadcast in 1964.It was not until 1980 that it appeared in New York.
A successful staging of L'ajo nell'imbarazzo by the Wexford Festival in 1973 led to that opera appearing in four additional European cities between 1975 and 1990, and in 2006, Wexford staged Don Gregorio, based on the new critical editionby Maria Chiara Bertieri.
Don Gregorio was then revived in Bergamo, Fano and Catania, with Paolo Bordogna in the title role and directed for the stage by Roberto Recchia. A new video recording was made from live performances given by the Teatro Donizetti in November 2007.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast,|
11 June 1826
|Don Giulio Antiquati||baritone|
Marquis Giulio demands that his sons, Enrico and Pippetto, grow up in complete ignorance of all matters of the flesh. Yet Enrico has secretly married Gilda, and they even have a son. Exasperated by the life he's forced to lead, the youth begs the elderly tutor Gregorio for help, and has him meet his wife. When, however, the Marquis arrives, Gilda remains trapped in Gregorio's room. She worries, for she must nurse her child: Gregorio is forced to fetch the baby and bring it to her, hidden under his cloak. Leonarda, an old servant in the household, informs the Marquis of her suspiscions; he discovers Gilda, but is convinced she must be the tutor's lover. In the tempestuous scene that follows, involving all the characters, the truth finally comes out. The Marquis realizes his error, and decides to entrust his younger son, Pippetto, to Enrico, so that he might help him learn "the ways of the world."
Don Giulio Antiquati,
Opera House and Orchestra,
Chorus and Orchestra of the Bergamo Gaetano Donizetti Music Festival.
|DVD: Dynamic |