Il falegname di Livonia, o Pietro il grande, czar delle Russie (The Livonian Carpenter, or Peter the Great, Tsar of the Russias) is an 1819 opera buffa in two acts with music by Gaetano Donizetti set to a libretto by Gherardo Bevilacqua-Aldobrandini. The libretto was based in part on Felice Romani's libretto for Giovanni Pacini's opera Il falegname di Livonia, which had just been presented at La Scala in Milan on 12 April 1819. Another source was Alexandre Duval's comedy Le menuisier de Livonie, ou Les illustres voyageurs (1805).
Opera buffa is a genre of opera. It was first used as an informal description of Italian comic operas variously classified by their authors as commedia in musica, commedia per musica, dramma bernesco, dramma comico, divertimento giocoso.
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.
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.
Donizetti's Il falegname di Livonia was premiered on 26 December 1819 at the opening of the 1819-1820 Carnival season at the Teatro San Samuele in Venice. It was the fourth of Donizetti’s operas to be performed during his lifetime and the first to achieve "more than one production".It had about seven stagings until 1827, when its last known performance in the 19th century took place.
The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks.
Teatro San Samuele was an opera house and theatre located at the Rio del Duca, between Campo San Samuele and Campo Santo Stefano, in Venice. One of several important theatres built in that city by the Grimani family, the theatre opened in 1656 and operated continuously until a fire destroyed the theatre in 1747. A new structure was built and opened in 1748, but financial difficulties forced the theatre to close and be sold in 1770. The theatre remained active until 1807 when it was shut down by Napoleonic decree. It reopened in 1815 and was later acquired by impresario Giuseppe Camploy in 1819. In 1853 the theatre was renamed the Teatro Camploy. Upon Camploy's death in 1889, the theatre was bequeathed to the City of Verona. The Venice City Council in turn bought the theatre and demolished it in 1894.
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.
The opera was neglected until 2003 when it was given a performance in St Petersburg, thanks to the artistic director of the St Petersburg Chamber Opera, Yuri Alexandrov, who spent three years in search of the score for the opera, which, so it appeared, had been lost forever. The painstaking work yielded results: the score was restored fragment by fragment. The Russian premiere took place on 27 May 2003 at the St Petersburg Chamber Opera, with staging by Yuri Alexandrov and the Russian and Italian versions of the libretto by Yuri Dimitrin.
In 2004, the opera was presented by the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca. Those performances were recorded.
The Festival della Valle d’Itria is a summer opera festival held in the south eastern Italian town of Martina Franca in the Apulia region. The Festival was founded in 1975 and performances are given in July and August each summer on a specially constructed stage in the outdoor courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale.
Martina Franca, or just Martina, is a town and municipality in the province of Taranto, Apulia, southern Italy. It is the second most populated town of the province after Taranto, and has a population (2016) of 49,086. Since 1975, the town has hosted the annual summer opera festival, the Festival della Valle d'Itria.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 26 December 1819|
(Conductor: - )
|Pietro il Grande (Peter the Great)||bass||Pio Botticelli|
|Caterina (Catherine I of Russia, his wife)||soprano||Adelaide Raffi|
|Madama Fritz, innkeeper||mezzo-soprano||Caterina Amati|
|Annetta Mazepa, innkeeper||soprano||Angela Bertozzi|
|Carlo Scavronski, carpenter of Livonia||tenor||Giovanni Battista Verger|
|Ser Cuccupis, magistrate||bass||Luigi Martinelli|
|Firman Trombest, in the role of the usurer||bass||Giuseppe Guglielmini|
|Hondediski, muscovite captain||baritone||Gaetano Rambaldi|
|Mayors, couriers, followers of the Czar|
Carlo, a carpenter, is in love with the orphan Annetta. He claims to be of noble origin and shows that he has a bit of a temper when the tsar and his wife, Catherine, arrive, both travelling incognito. They are looking for the tsarina’s lost brother, and have reason to suspect that it might be Carlo. The tsar asks the hotelier, Madame Fritz, about this carpenter. When Carlo enters, he does not know who the strangers are and he is rather insolent. An argument ensues, with Peter threatening Carlo with dire consequences. The town magistrate, Ser Cuccupis, also gets into an argument with Peter. This magistrate has pretensions of grandeur and goes so far as to threaten him with his friend, the tsar. Peter decides to pull rank on the magistrate, and tells him that he is Menshikov, a high officer of the tsar. The magistrate has Carlo imprisoned, and he is about to be convicted when Madame Fritz runs in with some documents proving that he is Catherine’s brother.
When Carlo becomes aware that he is the tsar's brother-in-law, he introduces Annetta to the imperial couple. Again, not knowing the true identity of the couple, he warns them that the tsar must never see her because she is the daughter of the traitor hetman Ivan Mazepa. When told that Mazepa is dead, the false Menshikov pardons the girl. Then the captain of the troops tells the magistrate that Menshikov is actually the tsar. Hoping that this would be an opportunity to advance himself, the magistrate tries to intervene, but since the tsar has already recognized him for what he is, he is fired from his position of authority and is ordered to pay a fine. Peter, Catherine, Carlo and Annetta leave happily for St Petersburg.
Hetman is a political title from Central and Eastern Europe, historically assigned to military commanders.
Ivan Stepanovych Mazepa served as the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host in 1687–1708. It is claimed that he was awarded a title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1707 for his efforts for the Holy League.
(Pietro il Grande,
Opera House and Orchestra
Rosa Anna Peraino,
Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia and the Coro da Camera di Bratislava
(Recorded at performances in the Atrio di Palazzo Ducale, Martina Franca as part of the Festival della Valle d'Itria. There were performances on 27, 28 July)
|Audio CD: Dynamic|
Cat: CDS 473-1/2
Note: The Act 2 sextet is included in A Hundred Years of Italian Opera, 1810-1820 (Opera Rara; Cat: ORCH103).
Belisario (Belisarius) is a tragedia lirica in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after Luigi Marchionni's adaptation of Eduard von Schenk's play, Belisarius, first staged in Munich in 1820 and then in Naples in 1826. The plot is loosely based on the life of the famous general Belisarius of the 6th century Byzantine Empire.
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.
Felice Romani was an Italian poet and scholar of literature and mythology who wrote many librettos for the opera composers Donizetti and Bellini. Romani was considered the finest Italian librettist between Metastasio and Boito.
L'assedio di Calais is an 1836 melodramma lirico, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti, his 49th opera. Salvatore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto, which has been described as "...a remarkable libretto, the closest Cammarano ever got to real poetry, particularly in his description of the embattled city and the heartfelt pride of its citizens". It was based on Luigi Marchionni's play L'assedio di Calais, which had been presented in Naples around 1825, and secondarily on Luigi Henry's ballet L'assedio di Calais, which had been performed in Naples in 1828 and revived in 1835.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Francesca di Foix is a melodramma giocoso 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.
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.
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.
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.
Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo(The Madman on the Island of San Domingo) is a "romantic melodramma" in two acts by the composer Gaetano Donizetti. Jacopo Ferretti, who since 1821 had written five libretti for Donizetti and two for Rossini, had proposed the unusual subject and he was contracted to write the Italian libretto based on a five-act play of the same title by an unknown author in 1820, which "had been given in the same theatre [...] and which Donizetti had immediately loved". However, as has been noted by Charles Osborne, the "ultimate derivation of both play and libretto is an episode in part 1 of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes's published in 1605" which is the story of Cardenio and Lucinda.
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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.
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.