Gabriella di Vergy

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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.

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.

Andrea Leone Tottola was a prolific Italian librettist, best known for his work with Gaetano Donizetti and Gioachino Rossini.

Contents

The story had already been the subject of an opera by Michele Carafa (1816) and had previously been used by Johann Simon Mayr (Raul di Créqui, Milan, 1809), Francesco Morlacchi (Raoul de Créqui, Dresden, 1811), and Carlo Coccia (Fayel, Florence, 1817). It was also subsequently used as Gabriella di Vergy by Saverio Mercadante in 1828.

Michele Carafa Italian opera composer

Michele Enrico Francesco Vincenzo Aloisio Paolo Carafa di Colobrano was an Italian opera composer. He was born in Naples and studied in Paris with Luigi Cherubini. He was Professor of counterpoint at the Paris Conservatoire from 1840 to 1858. One of his notable pupils was Achille Peri.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Francesco Morlacchi Italian composer

Francesco Giuseppe Baldassare Morlacchi was an Italian composer of more than twenty operas. During the many years he spent as the royal Royal Kapellmeister in Dresden, he was instrumental in popularizing the Italian style of opera.

"In its original form the opera was never performed", [1] but parts of the original version were re-used by Donizetti in his other operas Otto mesi in due ore (Naples, 1827), L’esule di Roma (Naples 1828), Il paria (Naples 1829) and Anna Bolena . For the revised version, Donizetti revisited Gabriella di Vergy and incorporated into the opera parts of Ugo, conte di Parigi (Milan 1832), Rosmonda d'Inghilterra (Florence 1834) and Maria de Rudenz (Venice 1838).

<i>Otto mesi in due ore</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Otto mesi in due ore ossia Gli esiliati in Siberia is an opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni.

<i>Il paria</i> opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti

Il paria is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, based on Le Paria by Casimir Delavigne and Michele Carafa's Il paria with a libretto by Gaetano Rossi.

<i>Anna Bolena</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Anna Bolena is a tragic opera in two acts composed by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Ippolito Pindemonte's Enrico VIII ossia Anna Bolena and Alessandro Pepoli's Anna Bolena, both recounting the life of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII.

Performance history

After Donizetti's death, his Gabriella di Vergy finally received its first performance on 29 November 1869 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples with the title of Gabriella. However, the score was a rifacimento (re-doing}, compiled by Giuseppe Puzone (who had been Donizetti's student) and Paolo Serrao. They combined elements from both the 1826 and 1838 versions as well as music from some of Donizetti's cantatas and his lesser-known operas. [2]

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Giuseppe Puzone was an Italian opera composer and conductor active in Naples, the city of his birth. He was for many years the principal conductor of the Teatro San Carlo where his opera Elfrida di Salerno had premiered in 1849. He composed three other operas, all of which premiered in Naples, as well as sacred and symphonic music.

Paolo Serrao was a distinguished and influential Italian teacher of musical theory and composition at Naples.

The 1838 version of the opera was rediscovered in 1978 by Don White and Patric Schmid of Opera Rara. Subsequently, it was given its first performance in the UK on 9 September 1978 in Belfast and recorded. [1]

Opera Rara is a British non-profit recording company, founded in the early 1970s by American Patric Schmid and Englishman Don White to promote concerts of rare and/or forgotten operas by bel canto era composers such as Italian composers Gaetano Donizetti, Giovanni Pacini, Saverio Mercadante, and Federico Ricci, as well as French composers of the 1830s forward such as Giacomo Meyerbeer.

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 29 November 1869
(Conductor: - Nicola De Giosa)
Gabriella di Vergy soprano Marcella Lotti della Santa
Almeide, Fayel's sistersoprano Carolina Certoné
Fayel, earl of Vermand baritone Giuseppe Villani
Raoul tenor Gottardo Aldighieri
Filippo Augusto bass Marco Arati
Armando, Fayel's friendbassMemmi
Fayel's relatives, Gabriella's bridesmaids', followers of Filippo, people"

Synopsis

Place: Burgundy
Time: Middle Ages

Gabriella has married Fayel under pressure from her father and the reported death of Raoul, the man she really loves on his return from the Crusades. She discovers too late that she had been deceived and that Raoul is alive. Raoul returns and accuses her of perfidy. Meanwhile, he is under pressure from the Emperor to marry Fayel's sister, Almeide. The story has a tragic and macabre end. Raoul is killed by Fayel in a duel. Fayel cuts out his heart and brings it to Gabriella in an urn. She goes mad and dies of a broken heart. Her final words to Fayel, and the final words of the opera are her wish for the foaming blood in the urn to rise up and cover Fayel's face and for Raoul's ghost to rise from its tomb to embed in Fayel's heart the knife he had used to cut out Raoul's.

Crusades Military campaigns of Western Christians in the Middle Ages against Muslims and others

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760.

Recordings

YearCast
(Gabriella, Fayel, Raoul, King)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [3]
1978Ludmilla Andrew,
Christian Duplessis,
Maurice Arthur,
John Tomlinson
Alun Francis,
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Audio CD: Opera Rara
Cat: OR 3 [4]

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 Ashbrook and Hibberd 2001, p. 227
  2. Ashbrook (1982) pp. 39–40; 540
  3. Recordings of Gabriella di Vergy on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk
  4. This recording also includes selected scenes from the earlier 1826 version with Eiddwen Harrhy as Gabriella and Della Jones.

Sources