Emilia di Liverpool

Last updated

Emilia di Liverpool (Emilia of Liverpool; also given as L'eremitaggio di Liverpool [1] ) 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.

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.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.

Contents

Composition history

The libretto had a complex history. The original story by Scatizzi formed the basis of the first, anonymous libretto of 1824, which had the title of Emilia di Liverpool. This first libretto included the introduction of the Count, a Neapolitan character, as comic relief per the theatrical tradition of the Teatro Nuovo. The changes to the cast of characters caused confusion among the relationships of the characters and ran contrary to the structure of the original play. The libretto revisions by Ceccherini, circa 1828, removed much of the material of the 1824 version, with further revisions to the characters, but maintaining the plot chronology of the 1824 version. The 1828 revision, known as L'eremitaggio di Liverpool (The Hermitage of Liverpool), also reduced the amount of spoken dialogue. [2]

Performance history

The 1828 version was given its premiere in Naples on 8 March 1828 and received only six performances. The 1824 version "was revived in 1838 for three performances, and again in 1871". [3]

It was not until 1957 that it received another presentation of any kind, until its UK premiere on 12 June in Liverpool. [4] In September 1957 the BBC presented an abridged radio version which starred the young Joan Sutherland,"who gave a stunning exhibition of her Donizetti style a good eighteen months before her Covent Garden success in Lucia di Lammermoor . [3]

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Joan Sutherland Australian soprano

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE was an Australian-born coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s.

The Royal Opera opera company in London

The Royal Opera is a company based in central London, resident at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Along with the English National Opera, it is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968. It brought a long annual season and consistent management to a house that had previously hosted short seasons under a series of impresarios. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet.

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 28 July 1824
(Conductor: - )
Emilia soprano Teresa Melas
Claudio di Liverpool, her father bass Giuseppe Fioravanti
Federico tenor Domenico Zilioli
Don Romualdobass Carlo Casaccia
Candida, his daughter mezzo-soprano Francesca Ceccherini
Luigiasoprano
Il contebass
Villains

Synopsis

Time: The past
Place: A village near Liverpool

Emilia, daughter of Claudio, the "Count of Liverpool", lives in a hermitage doing good works among the people of Liverpool. Years earlier she had rejected the noble Don Romualdo to elope with Federico. But Federico merely seduced and abandoned her. Her mother died of shame and her father disappeared in pursuit of his daughter's seducer. Since that time, Emilia had lived a holy life of penitence and charity, but years later, Emilia's charitable work is disturbed by the arrival of two strangers who have been stranded in a storm. One is Federico, now repentant; the other is Claudio who had been captured by Barbary pirates and imprisoned for many years. A third man, her former suitor Don Romualdo, also appears.

Don Romualdo is still willing to marry Emilia, but she rejects him. Federico attempts to prove that he is repentant, but Claudio challenges him to a duel with pistols. The two men begin to fight, but are stopped by Emilia who is able to prevent them from firing any shots. She announces her belief that Federico is reformed, says that they are in love, and that they plan to marry. Everyone rejoices.

Recordings

YearCast:
(Emilia, Candida,
Luigia,
Don Romualdo,
Claudio di Liverpool, Federico)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [5]
1986 Yvonne Kenny,
Anne Mason,
Bronwen Mills,
Sesto Bruscantini,
Geoffrey Dolton,
Chris Merritt
David Parry,
Philharmonia Orchestra and Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Audio CD: Opera Rara
Cat: OR 8 [6]

Related Research Articles

<i>Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali, also known as Viva la mamma, is a dramma giocoso, or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni, adapted from Antonio Simeone Sografi's plays Le convenienze teatrali (1794) and Le inconvenienze teatrali (1800).

<i>Alahor in Granata</i> opera

Alahor in Granata is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to an anonymous Italian libretto 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.

<i>Caterina Cornaro</i> (opera) opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Caterina Cornaro ossia La Regina di Cipro is a tragedia lirica, or opera, in a prologue and two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Giacomo Sacchèro wrote the Italian libretto after Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges' libretto for Halévy's La reine de Chypre (1841). It is based on the life of Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus from 1474 to 1489. It premiered at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 12 January 1844.

<i>Olivo e Pasquale</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Olivo e Pasquale is a melodramma giocoso, a romantic comedy opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Jacopo Ferretti wrote the Italian libretto after Antonio Simeone Sografi's play.

<i>Il diluvio universale</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Il diluvio universale is an azione tragico-sacra, or opera, by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni after Lord Byron's Heaven and Earth and Francesco Ringhieri's tragedy Il diluvio (1788).

<i>Zoraida di Granata</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Zoraida di Granata is a melodramma eroico, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto had been partly prepared Bartolomeo Merelli, based on the French play, Gonzalve de Cordoue ou Grenade Reconquise by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1791), and on a libretto by Luigi Romanelli to an opera by Nicolini called Abenamet e Zoraide.

<i>Maria de Rudenz</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Maria de Rudenz is a dramma tragico, or tragic opera, in three parts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on "a piece of Gothic horror", La nonne sanglante by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Julien de Mallian, and The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. It premiered at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, on 30 January 1838.

<i>Gabriella di Vergy</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Gabriella di Vergy is an opera seria in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti written in 1826 and revised in 1838, from a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola, which was based on the tragedy Gabrielle de Vergy (1777) by Dormont De Belloy. Prior to that, the play was itself inspired by two French medieval legends, Le châtelain de Coucy et la dame de Fayel and Le Roman de la chastelaine de Vergy.

<i>Gemma di Vergy</i> opera

Gemma di Vergy is an 1834 tragedia lirica in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Giovanni Emanuele Bidera. It is based on the tragedy Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux(Charles VII and His Chief Vassals) (1831) by Alexandre Dumas père, which was later to become the subject of the opera The Saracen by the Russian composer César Cui.

<i>Il castello di Kenilworth</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Il castello di Kenilworth is a melodramma serio or tragic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Andrea Leone Tottola wrote the Italian libretto after Victor Hugo's play Amy Robsart (1828) and Eugene Scribe's play Leicester, both of which following from Scott's novel Kenilworth (1821). Daniel Auber composed another opera on the same subject, Leicester, ou Le chateau de Kenilworth in 1823.

<i>Gianni di Calais</i> opera

Gianni di Calais is a melodramma semiserio, a "semi-serious" opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1828), from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, based on Jean de Paris by Louis-Charles Caigniez.

<i>Gianni di Parigi</i> opera comica in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti

Gianni di Parigi is an 1839 melodramma comico in two acts with music by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Felice Romani, which had previously been set by Francesco Morlacchi in 1818 and by Giovanni Antonio Speranza in 1836.

<i>La zingara</i> opera

La zingara is an opera semiseria in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti, set to a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola after La petite bohémienne by Louis-Charles Caigniez, which was itself derived from a work of August von Kotzebue.

<i>Alfredo il grande</i> opera

Alfredo il grande 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.

<i>Sancia di Castiglia</i> opera

Sancia di Castiglia is an Italian opera seria in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Pietro Salatino. It was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, on 4 November 1832 conducted by Nicola Festa.

<i>Adelia</i> (opera) opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Adelia, o La figlia dell'arciere is an opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written partly by Felice Romani and by Girolamo Maria Marini, a part-time poet who had achieved notability the previous year with Otto Nicolai's Il templario. The opera premiered at the Teatro Apollo, Rome on 11 February 1841.

<i>Don Gregorio</i> (opera) opera

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, which had enjoyed considerable success when presented at the Teatro Valle in Rome on 4 February 1824.

<i>Il giovedì grasso</i> opera farsa in one act by Gaetano Donizetti

Il giovedì grasso is a farsa in one act by Gaetano Donizetti, from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni. The literal translation of the title is "Fat Thursday", a reference to Carnival celebration. The libretto was adapted from the French comedies Monsieur de Pourceaugnac by Molière and Le nouveau Pourceaugnac by Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson and Eugène Scribe. The opera uses spoken dialogue rather than recitatives, and the buffo role is given in the Neapolitan language. The work premiered at the Teatro del Fondo in Naples on 26 February 1829.

<i>Una follia</i> opera

Una follia is a farsa in one act by composer Gaetano Donizetti. The work premiered on 15 December 1818 at the Teatro San Luca in Venice. The opera uses the same Italian-language libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli after August von Kotzebue's Der Graf von Burgund that Donizetti used for his Enrico di Borgogna a month earlier, but with different music. It was given one performance and "never performed again, and its score has never been found."

<i>La lettera anonima</i> opera

La lettera anonima is a farce in one act composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1822 to a libretto by Giulio Genoino, a former monk and the official censor of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Genoino based his libretto on his own farce which, in turn, had been based on Mélite, ou Les fausses lettres by Pierre Corneille in 1630.

References

Notes

  1. Ashbrook 1982, p. 538.
  2. Commons, Jeremy July 1959, Emilia di Liverpool, Music & Letters, 40(3): pp. 207-228.
  3. 1 2 Osborne 1994, pp. 158—59
  4. Ashbrook and Hibberd 2001, p. 226
  5. Source for recording information: Recording(s) of Emilia di Liverpool on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk
  6. Dean, Winton 1998, "Record Reviews: Emilia di Liverpool", The Musical Times, 129 (1746): p. 408.

Cited 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.

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

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.

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera is an encyclopedia of opera, considered to be one of the best general reference sources on the subject. It is the largest work on opera in English, and in its printed form, amounts to 5,448 pages in four volumes.