Francesca di Foix

Last updated

Francesca di Foix is a melodramma giocoso (comic opera) in one act by Gaetano Donizetti with a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni based on one by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly and Emmanuel Mercier-Dupaty for Henri Montan Berton's 3-act opéra-comique Françoise de Foix, inspired by the life of Françoise de Foix. [1]

Contents

It received its first performance on 30 May 1831 at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples.

Performance history

The opera is chiefly known for having provided segments to other Donizetti operas, including Ugo, conte di Parigi , L'elisir d'amore and Gabriella di Vergy although a complete recording exists on the Opera Rara label.

It was given in London in November 2013, along with Debussy's L'enfant prodigue as a double bill, at the Guildhall School of Music staged by the Australian opera director Stephen Barlow. [2]

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 30 May 1831
(Conductor: - )
Francesca soprano Luigia Boccabadati
The king baritone Antonio Tamburini
Edmondo contralto Marietta Gioia Tamburini
The count bass Giovanni Campagnoli
The duke tenor Lorenzo Bonfigli
Knights, bridesmaids, peasants

Synopsis

Time: The Middle Ages
Place: France [3]

The Count is determined to keep his beautiful wife Francesca well away from the temptations of the French court. Knowing the amorous ways of the nobility he tells them that she is unwilling to appear in public because she is extremely ugly.

Unfortunately this raises the interest of the King who despatches one of his gentlemen (the Duke) to investigate, and if he finds that the Countess is beautiful he must lure her back incognito to court.

Sure enough the Duke is able to persuade Francesca to return to Paris with him. Rather than admit his deceit her husband at first refuses to acknowledge who she is. To force his hand the King announces that a tournament is to be held and the winning knight will be given Francesca's hand in marriage.

The Count can no longer keep up his subterfuge and admits that, driven by jealousy, he lied to the King and his courtiers. After due admonishment by the King all is forgiven and the Count and Countess live happily ever after.

Recordings

YearCast:
(Francesca,
King, Edmondo,
Count, Duke)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [4]
1982Gillian Sullivan,
Lynne Smythe,
Della Jones,
Donald Maxwell,
Gordon Christie
David Parry (conductor) David Parry,
Opera Rara Orchestra and Chorus
(Recording of performance at Camden Festival in the Collegiate Theatre, March)
Cassette: Live Opera
Cat: 03460
2004 Annick Massis,
Pietro Spagnoli,
Jennifer Larmore,
Alfonso Antoniozzi,
Bruce Ford
Antonello Allemandi,
London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Audio CD: Opera Rara
Cat: ORC 28

Related Research Articles

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.

Opéra-Comique opera company in Paris

The Opéra-Comique is a Paris opera company, which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with, and for a time took the name of its chief rival the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and was also called the Théâtre-Italien up to about 1793, when it again became most commonly known as the Opéra-Comique. Today the company's official name is Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique, and its theatre, with a capacity of around 1,248 seats, sometimes referred to as the Salle Favart, is located in Place Boïeldieu, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier, one of the theatres of the Paris Opéra. The musicians and others associated with the Opéra-Comique have made important contributions to operatic history and tradition in France, and to French opera. Its current mission is to reconnect with its history, and discover its unique repertoire, to ensure production and dissemination of operas for the wider public. Mainstays of the repertory at the Opéra-Comique during its history have included the following works which have each been performed more than 1,000 times by the company: Cavalleria Rusticana, Le chalet, La dame blanche, Le domino noir, La fille du régiment, Lakmé, Manon, Mignon, Les noces de Jeannette, Le pré aux clercs, Tosca, La bohème, Werther and Carmen, the last having been performed more than 2,500 times.

<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>Ugo, conte di Parigi</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Ugo, conte di Parigi is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis's Blanche d'Aquitaine. It premiered on 13 March 1832 at La Scala, Milan.

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>Pia de Tolomei</i> (opera) opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Pia de' Tolomei is a tragedia lirica in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after Bartolomeo Sestini's verse novella Pia de' Tolomei, which was based on Canto V, vv. 130-136 from Dante's narrative poem The Divine Comedy part 2: Purgatorio. It premiered on 18 February 1837 at the Teatro Apollo in Venice.

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

Rita, ou Le mari battu is an opéra comique in one act, composed by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz. The opera, a domestic comedy consisting of eight musical numbers connected by spoken dialogue, was completed in 1841 under its original title Deux hommes et une femme. Never performed in Donizetti's lifetime, Rita premiered posthumously at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 7 May 1860.

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.

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>Guillaume Tell</i> (Grétry) opéra comique by André Grétry

Guillaume Tell is an opéra comique, described as a drame mise en musique, in three acts by André Grétry, The French text was by Michel-Jean Sedaine based on a play of the same name by Antoine-Marin Lemierre.

Théâtre Feydeau former theater company in Paris

The Théâtre Feydeau, a former Parisian theatre company, was founded in 1789 with the patronage of Monsieur, Comte de Provence, and was therefore initially named the Théâtre de Monsieur. It began performing in the Salle des Tuileries, located in the north wing of the Tuileries Palace, then moved to the Salle des Variétés at the Foire Saint-Germain, and finally, beginning in 1791, settled into its own custom-built theatre, the Salle Feydeau located on the rue Feydeau. The company was renamed Feydeau after the royal family was arrested during the French Revolution.

<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>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.

Jean-Pierre Solié French opera singer

Jean-Pierre Solié was a French cellist and operatic singer. He began as a tenor, but switched and became well known as a baritone. He sang most often at the Paris Opéra-Comique. He also became a prolific composer, writing primarily one-act comic operas.

La romanziera e l'uomo nero is an 1831 one-act farsa with music by Gaetano Donizetti and an Italian libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, possibly based on the 1819 play La donna dei romanzi by Augusto Bon. Other suggested sources include L'homme noir (1820) by Eugene Scribe and Jean-Henri Dupin and Le coiffeur et le perruquier (1824) by Scribe, Édouard-Joseph-Ennemond Mazères and Charles Nombret Saint-Laurent.

I Pazzi per progetto is a farsa in one act by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni. The first performance took place at the Teatro di San Carlo on 6 February 1830 and was followed by its second presentation on 7 February at the Teatro del Fondo.

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.

Il borgomastro di Saardam is an 1827 melodramma giocoso in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The libretto, by Domenico Gilardoni, was based on the 1818 play Le bourgmestre de Sardam, ou Les deux Pierres by Mélesville, Jean-Toussaint Merle and Eugène Cantiran de Boirie. Albert Lortzing's 1837 opera Zar und Zimmermann is ultimately based, via a German translation, on the same French play. The plot concerns a famous episode in the life of Peter the Great, in which he disguised himself under an assumed name as a worker in the shipyards of Saardam, and has certain similarities to Donizetti's earlier 1-act farce Il falegname di Livonia.

Domenico Gilardoni (1798–1831) was an Italian opera librettist, most well known for his collaborations with the composers Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti.

References

Notes

  1. Ashbrook 1982, p. 551, and Osborne 1994, p. 200. Berton's opera was first performed on 28 January 1809 by the Opéra-Comique at the Salle Feydeau. It continued to be performed there until 1825 (Wild and Charlton 2005, p. 264). Smart & Budden 2001, as well as Ashbrook 1992, say Gilardoni's libretto was based on Charles-Simon Favart's libretto Ninette à la cour as adapted for Louis Joseph Saint-Amans' 2-act opéra-comique, performed in 1791 at the Salle Favart (Cook 1992, p. 125). Favart's libretto was first written in 3 acts and performed as Le caprice amoureux, ou Ninette à la cour by the Théâtre-Italien with music by diverse composers on 12 February 1755. It was a parody of Vincenzo Legrenzio Ciampi's 2-act intermède Bertoldo in corte, an Italian opera buffa which had first been performed by Bambini's company at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal on 22 November 1753 as part of the Guerre des Bouffons (Pitou 1985, vol. 2, pp. 116, 564). Favart's libretto was also revised by Auguste Creuzé de Lesser as the 2-act opéra-comique Ninette à la cour, ou Le retour au village with music by Henri François Berton, first presented on 21 December 1811 by the Opéra-Comique at the Salle Feydeau, where it was kept in repertory for two years (Wild and Charlton 2005, p. 341).
  2. "L'enfant prodigue and Francesca di Foix at Guildhall", on capricciomusic.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2013
  3. Osborne, p. 200
  4. Source for recording information: Recordings of Francesca di Foix on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

Cited sources

Other sources