La romanziera e l'uomo nero

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La romanziera e l'uomo nero (also known as La romanzesca 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. [1] Other suggested sources include L'homme noir (1820) by Eugene Scribe and Jean-Henri Dupin [2] and Le coiffeur et le perruquier (1824) by Scribe, Édouard-Joseph-Ennemond Mazères and Charles Nombret Saint-Laurent. [3]

Farsa is a genre of opera, associated with Venice in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is also sometimes called farsetta.

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.

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


Performance history

The opera was premiered on 18 June 1831 at the Teatro del Fondo, Naples, and there was only one further performance. The words and music of the arias and ensembles have survived, but the spoken dialogue has been lost. The opera's music was performed in 1982 at the Camden Festival, and in Fermo in 1988. In November 2000, staged performances took place in Rovigo with dialogue re-created by Michelangelo Zurletti from the Scribe plays on which the opera may have been based. [3]

Teatro del Fondo theater in Naples

The Teatro del Fondo is a theatre in Naples, now known as the Teatro Mercadante. It is located on Piazza del Municipio #1, with the front facing the west side of Castel Nuovo and near the Molo (Dock) Siglio. Together with the Teatro San Carlo, it was originally one of the two royal opera houses of the 18th and 19th-century city.

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.

Camden Festival was an annual spring festival founded in 1954 and held in London, England. Originally, it was named the St Pancras Festival until 1965. It continued until 1987.

Of this work Ashbrook writes:

The plot is a satire on Romanticism: in the rondo-finale Antonina assures her father that she will give up willows, cypresses, urns and ashes, and take up more appropriate pursuits like singing and dancing and going to the opera.

He also points out that Filidoro's canzonetta is a parody of the Gondolier's song from Rossini's Otello . [4]

In music, a canzonetta is a popular Italian secular vocal composition that originated around 1560. Earlier versions were somewhat like a madrigal but lighter in style—but by the 18th century, especially as it moved outside of Italy, the term came to mean a song for voice and accompaniment, usually in a light secular style.

<i>Otello</i> (Rossini) opera by Gioachino Rossini

Otello is an opera in three acts by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsa. The work is based on a French adaptation of the story, not Shakespeare's play Othello as neither Rossini nor his librettist knew the English drama.


Autograph title, 1831 La romanziera e l'uomo nero - autograph title by Donizetti - Biblioteca Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella Napoli.jpg
Autograph title, 1831
RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 18 June 1831 [5]
The Count (il Conte) bass Gennaro Ambrosini
Antonina, his daughter soprano Luigia Boccabadati
Chiarina, his niece mezzo-soprano Marietta Gioia-Tamburini
Fedele, hoping to marry ChiarinatenorFrancesco Salvetti
Carlino, the son of a friend of the Count tenor Lorenzo Lombardi
Filidoro, the man in black (l'uomo nero) baritone Antonio Tamburini
Tommaso, his unclebass Gennarino Luzio
Trappolina, Antonia's governesssopranoAnna Manzi-Salvetti
Giappone, the Count's majordomo bassTauro
Nicola, a servantbass

List of musical numbers

SceneDescriptionPerformed byFirst lines of sections
1 Introduction Giappone, Carlino, Il Conte, Fedele,
Chiarina, Trappolina, Tommaso
"Vi prego, avanti avanti" ... "M'insulta, corbella!"
2 Cavatina Antonia, Tommaso, Trappolina"Oh Elodia solitaria"
3 Canzonetta Filidoro"Non v'e maggio dolore"
3 Duet Antonia, Filidoro"Ciel! Fia ver? Mio Filidoro!" ... "Ahi la mia nascita" ...
"Fuggir da queste mura"
4 Trio Tommaso, Chiarina, Fedele"Cinque sensi appena nato" ... "L'occhietto semi-chiuso"
5DuetChiarina, Filidoro"Che paura! Che paura!" ... "Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!"
6TrioNicola, Antonia, Tommaso/
Tommaso, Nicola, Trappolina
"Fuggiam, fuggiam!" ... "Ei stresso! La mia vittima" ...
"Destrieri infocati"
7 Rondo finaleAntonia, Conte, Fedele, Carlino, Filidoro/
Filidoro, Antonia, All
"Si, colpevole son io" ... "Lascio l'ombre ed I fantasmi"


Year Cast:
(Antonia, Chiarina, Fedele, Carlino, Filidoro, Tommaso)
Conductor, Orchestra, Chorus Label
2000 Elisabetta Scano,
Adriana Cicogna,
Bruce Ford,
Paul Austin Kelly,
Pietro Spagnoli,
Bruno Praticò
David Parry,
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Audio CD: Opera Rara
Cat: ORC19 [6]
2000 Patrizia Cigna,
Claudia Marchi,
Giovanni Gregnanin,
Patrizio Saudelli,
Alessandro Calamai,
Gian Paolo Fiocchi
Franco Piva,
Orchestra Filarmonica Veneta "G. F. Malipiero",
Coro del Teatro Sociale di Rovigo
Audio CD: Bongiovanni
Cat: GB 2287/88-2 (2 CDs)
Recorded live on 25 and 26 November 2000

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  1. Ashbrook & Hibberd 2001, p. 231.
  2. Osborne 1994, pp. 201–202, and Ashbrook 1982, p. 551.
  3. 1 2 Michele Zurletti, Rovigo.[ citation needed ]
  4. Ashbrook 1982, p. 324.
  5. Premiere cast list from Casaglia 2005. Note that Ashbrook 1982, p. 511, and Weinstock 1963, p. 328, have incomplete premiere cast lists with Tamburini as Carlino rather than Filidoro.
  6. "Review - Donizetti". Gramophone . November 2000. Retrieved 8 November 2010.

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.

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