Maria de Rudenz

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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", [1] 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.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

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.

Contents

Performance history

19th century

While the initial performances were not very successful (Donizetti regarded them as "a fiasco"), [2] the opera was withdrawn after two performances. [1] It was given 14 performances in Rome in 1841 but, again, it was received with little enthusiasm. [2] Finally, an "excellent production and superior singing this time won vigorous approval" [2] in a production in Rome in 1841, and this was followed by one in Naples in 1848 at the Teatro Nuovo and three years later for a production at the Teatro San Carlo.

20th century and beyond

The opera did not receive a production in the UK until the Opera Rara concert presentation in London on 27 October 1974. [3] The first staged presentations in the 20th century took place at La Fenice beginning on 21 December 1980 with Katia Ricciarelli in the title role. [1] Both have been recorded. Among other performances, the opera was staged at the Donizetti Festival, Bergamo, in 2013 [4] and by the Wexford Opera Festival in 2016. [5]

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.

Katia Ricciarelli singer

Katia Ricciarelli is an Italian soprano.

Bergamo Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Bergamo is a city in the alpine Lombardy region of northern Italy, approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan, and about 30 km (19 mi) from Switzerland, the alpine lakes Como and Iseo and 70 km (43 mi) from Garda and Maggiore. The Bergamo Alps begin immediately north of the city.

Roles

Tenor
Napoleone Moriani (by Joseph Kriehuber) Napoleone Moriani by Joseph Kriehuber.jpg
Tenor
Napoleone Moriani (by Joseph Kriehuber)
Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 30 January 1838
(Conductor: — )
Maria de Rudenz soprano Carolina Ungher
Matilde di Wolf, her cousinsoprano Isabella Casali
Corrado Waldorf baritone Giorgio Ronconi
Enrico, his brother tenor Napoleone Moriani
Rambaldo, old relative of the Rudenz house bass Domenico Raffaeli
The Chancellor of Rudenztenor Alessandro Giacchini
Knights, squires, and vassals of the Rudenz house

Synopsis

Place: Switzerland
Time: 1400 [1]

Maria de Rudenz falls in love with Corrado against her father's wishes and flees with him to Venice. In Venice, Corrado suspects that Maria is unfaithful to him, abandons her, returns to Rudenz Castle, and falls in love with Maria's cousin Mathilde.

Maria returns to her ancestor's castle and discovers that her lover is not only going to marry her cousin, but that in fact he is also the son of a murderer. She is ready to keep his secret if only Corrado returns to her. Corrado refuses and in a rage injures her with his sword so that everyone thinks that she is dead.

On the wedding day of Mathilde and Corrado, Maria appears again. Maria reveals Corrado's secret to everyone, murders Mathilde, and commits suicide.

Recordings

YearCast:
Maria de Rudenz,
Matilde di Wolf,
Corrado Waldorf, Enrico
Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [6]
1974Ludmilla (Milla) Andrew,
Merril Jenkins,
Christian Du Plessis,
Richard Greager
Alun Francis, Philomusica of London and the Opera Rara Chorus,
(Recording of a concert performance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 27 October)
CD: Memories,
Cat: HR 4588-4589
1981 Katia Ricciarelli,
Silvia Baleani,
Leo Nucci,
Alberto Cupido
Eliahu Inbal,
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro La Fenice, Venice,
(Recorded at the La Fenice, Venice, January)
CD: Fonit Cetra «Italia»
Cat: CDC 91
Mondo Musica,
Cat: MFOH 10708
Living Stage,
Cat: LS 35140
1997 Nelly Miricioiu,
Robert McFarland,
Bruce Ford,
Matthew Hargreaves
David Parry,
Philharmonia Orchestra and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
CD: Opera Rara,
Cat: ORC16

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References

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Osborne 1994, pp. 262-263
  2. 1 2 3 Weinstock 1963, pp. 354-355
  3. Ashbrook and Hibberd, p. 239
  4. "Maria di Rudenz". gbopera.it. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. Dervan, Michael. "Maria de Rudenz Wexford Opera Festival review". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. Recordings on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk

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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