Il castello di Kenilworth

Last updated

Il castello di Kenilworth (or, under its original name in 1829, Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth) [1] 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.

Contents

This opera was the first of Donizetti's excursions into the Tudor period of English history, and it was followed in 1830 by Anna Bolena , (which was based on the life of Ann Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII), then by Maria Stuarda (named for Mary, Queen of Scots) which appeared in different forms in 1834 and 1835. All represented the interests (even obsessions) of many Italian composers of the era, Donizetti's included, in the character of Elizabeth I, whose life he was to explore further in 1837 in his opera Roberto Devereux (named for a putative lover of Queen Elizabeth I.) The leading female characters of the operas Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux are often referred to as the "Three Donizetti Queens."

As Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth the opera received its first performance on 6 July 1829 at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples and, in a revised version at the same house, as Il castello di Kenilworth on 24 June 1830. [1]

Roles

Georg Saal, Kenilworth Castle, 1866 Georg Saal Schloss in England.jpg
Georg Saal, Kenilworth Castle, 1866
RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 6 July 1829
(Conductor: Nicola Festa)
Elisabetta, Queen of England [2] soprano Adelaide Tosi
Roberto Dudley, Earl of Leicester tenor Giovanni David
Amelia Robsart, his secret consortsoprano Luigia Boccabadati
Warney baritone Berardo Winter
Lambourne bass Gennaro Ambrosini
Fanny mezzo-soprano Virginia Eden
Knights of the queen, domestic servants of Leicester, guards, soldiers, people

Synopsis

Time: The reign of Queen Elizabeth I
Place: Kenilworth Castle

It is announced that Queen Elizabeth is to visit Kenilworth, the Earl of Leicester's castle. Leicester is a favourite of the Queen, but now has a new bride, Amelia Robsart, with whom he is in love. Fearing the Queen's displeasure, he asks his servant Lambourne to arrange for Amelia to be hidden until Elizabeth departs. Amelia is taken to a small cell in the castle by Leicester's equerry, Warney. He then tries to seduce her and tells that she has been placed there because her husband no longer loves her. When Amelia rejects his advances, Warney vows revenge.

Amelia manages to escape from the cell and in a secret garden of the castle encounters the Queen. She tearfully tells the Queen about her troubles with Leicester, whom she believes has betrayed her. The Queen goes to Leicester and Warney angrily demanding an explanation. Warney deceitfully tries to persuade the Queen that Amelia is his wife. The Queen vows to resolve the mystery and briefly believes the lie. Leicester, however, reveals his marriage with Amelia to the Queen who becomes even more angry and dismisses him.

Warney, still desiring revenge, attempts to take Amelia away with him from Kenilworth with a lie that it is Leicester's wish, but fails when she refuses to go. He then tries to poison Amelia, but is foiled by her faithful servant, Fanny. In the end, Elizabeth orders the arrest of Warney, pardons Leicester and Amelia, and approves their marriage to the jubilation of all. [3]

Recordings

YearCast
(Queen Elisabeth I,
Amelia Robsart,
Leicester, Warney)
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [4]
1977 Janet Price,
Yvonne Kenny,
Maurice Arthur,
Christian Du Plessis
Alun Francis,
Philomusica of London and the Opera Rara Chorus
(Recording of a performance in the Collegiate Theatre, London as part of the Camden Festival)
Audio CD: MRF Records
Cat: MRF 143-S
1989 Mariella Devia,
Denia Mazzola (Gavazzeni),
Jozef Kundlák,
Barry Anderson
Jan Latham-Koenig,
Radio Televisione Italiana Orchestra and Chorus
Audio CD: Ricordi/Fonit Cetra
Cat: RFCD 2005

Related Research Articles

<i>Maria Stuarda</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Maria Stuarda is a tragic opera, in two acts, by Gaetano Donizetti, to a libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei's translation of Friedrich Schiller's 1800 play Maria Stuart.

<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.

<i>Roberto Devereux</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Roberto Devereux is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after François Ancelot's tragedy Elisabeth d'Angleterre (1829), and based as well on the Historie secrete des amours d'Elisabeth et du comte d'Essex (1787) by Jacques Lescéne des Maisons, although Devereux was the subject of at least two other French plays: Le Comte d'Essex by Thomas Corneille and Le Comte d'Essex by Gauthier de Costes, seigneur de la Calprenède.

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

Fausta is a melodramma, or opera seria, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was partly written by Domenico Gilardoni, who died while doing so: the remainder was written by Donizetti. The literary source of the opera's libretto is Crispo, a tragedy improvised by Tommaso Sgricci on 3 November 1827.

Alina, regina di Golconda is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Felice Romani after Michel-Jean Sedaine's French libretto for Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny's ballet-heroique Aline, reine de Golconde, in its turn based on the novel by Stanislas de Boufflers.

<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>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>Marino Faliero</i> (opera) opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Marino Faliero is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Giovanni Emanuele Bidera wrote the Italian libretto, with revisions by Agostino Ruffini, after Casimir Delavigne's play. It is inspired by Lord Byron's drama Marino Faliero (1820) and based on the life of Marino Faliero (c.1285-1355), the Venetian Doge.

<i>Maria Padilla</i> opera by Gaetano Donitetti

Maria Padilla is a melodramma, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Gaetano Rossi and the composer wrote the Italian libretto after François Ancelot's play. It premiered on 26 December 1841 at La Scala, Milan. The plot is loosely based on the historical figure María de Padilla, the mistress of Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile.

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 by Gaetano Donizetti

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.

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.

Enrico di Borgogna is an opera eroica or "heroic" opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Bartolomeo Merelli, wrote the Italian libretto based on Der Graf von Burgund by August von Kotzebue.

<i>Le duc dAlbe</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Le duc d'Albe or Il duca d'Alba is an opera in three acts originally composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1839 to a French language libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier. Its title, which translates as The Duke of Alba, refers to its protagonist Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. The work was intended for performance at the Paris Opéra. However, William Ashbrook notes that "Rosine Stoltz, the director's mistress, disliked her intended role of Hélène and Donizetti put the work aside when it was half completed".

Mariella Devia Italian opera singer

Mariella Devia is an Italian operatic soprano. After beginning her career as a lyric coloratura soprano, in recent years she has also enjoyed much success with some of the most dramatic roles in the bel canto repertoire.

<i>Sancia di Castiglia</i> opera by Gaetano Donizetti

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.

Domenico Reina Swiss singer

Domenico Reina was a Swiss bel canto tenor, notable for creating roles in the operas of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Saverio Mercadante, and other Italian composers.

Adelaide Tosi Opera singer

Adelaide Tosi was an Italian operatic soprano.

<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>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."

References

Notes

  1. 1 2 Ashbrook and Hibberd (2001), p. 229
  2. Premiere cast from Casaglia
  3. Synopsis based on Gelli (2007)
  4. Source for recording information: Recording(s) of Il castello di Kenilworth on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

Cited sources

Other sources