Marino Faliero (opera)

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Marino Faliero
Opera by Gaetano Donizetti
Marino Faliero (detalle 2).jpg
Marino Faliero, the opera's protagonist
Librettist Giovanni Emanuele Bidera
Based on Casimir Delavigne's play Marino Faliero
12 April 1835 (1835-04-12)

Marino Faliero (or Marin 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. [1]

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.

Giovanni Emanuele Bidera Italian poet, playwright and librettist

Giovanni Emanuele Bidera was an Italian writer of Albanian and Greek extraction. He is primarily known as the librettist of Gaetano Donizetti's operas Gemma di Vergy and Marino Faliero, but he also wrote plays, essays, books about Naples, and a treatise on acting.


Rossini had influenced the management of the Théâtre-Italien to commission works by the outstanding Italian composers of the day—Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini. Both wrote operas for that house in Paris, Bellini's contribution being the hugely-successful I puritani . Donizetti's opera, which premiered on 12 March 1835 (a few months after I puritani) was not nearly as much of a success. However, it marked Donizetti's first opera to have its premiere in Paris.

Vincenzo Bellini Italian opera composer

Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one else had ever made before'."

<i>I puritani</i> opera by Vincenzo Bellini

I puritani is an opera by Vincenzo Bellini. It was originally written in two acts and later changed to three acts on the advice of Gioachino Rossini, with whom the young composer had become friends. The music was set to a libretto by Count Carlo Pepoli, an Italian émigré poet whom Bellini had met at a salon run by the exile Princess Belgiojoso, which became a meeting place for many Italian revolutionaries.

Performance history

After the Paris première, Marino Faliero was presented in London at Covent Garden on 14 May 1835 [2] and at the Teatro Alfieri in Florence in 1836. Its first appearance in the US took place at the St. Charles Theater in New Orleans on 22 February 1842. [2] However, after several prohibitions from September 1839 onward, the opera was not presented until 3 September 1848, the day to which Black notes was the one on which the composer died in Bergamo. [3] The opera had a number of productions in the 19th century, but by the 20th it had become a rarity. The Donizetti Festival, Bergamo,staged the work in 2008. [4]

Teatro Alfieri, Florence former theatre and opera house in Florence, Italy

The Teatro Alfieri was a major theatre and opera house in 18th and 19th century Florence, located at Via dell'Ulivo #6 corner Via Pietrapiana in the Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy.

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 approximately 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.


Luigi Lablache in 1827, the first Marino Luigi Lablache-small.jpg
Luigi Lablache in 1827, the first Marino
Antonio Tamburini, the first Israele Antonio Tamburini-small.jpg
Antonio Tamburini, the first Israele
RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 12 March 1835
(Conductor: - )
Marin Faliero, the Doge of Venice bass Luigi Lablache
Israele Bertucci, chief of the Venetian Arsenal baritone Antonio Tamburini
Fernando, Faliero's friend and in love with Elena tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini
Steno, member of the Council of FortybassVincenzo Felice Santini
Leoni, Member of the Council of Ten tenor
Elena, The Doge's wife soprano Giulia Grisi
Irene, Elena's servantsoprano
Vincenzo, the Doge's servanttenor Enrico Tamberlik
Beltrame, a sculptorbass
Pietro, a gondolierbass Nicolay Ivanov
Guido, a fishermanbass
Gentlemen, knights, craftsmen, fishermen, servants, soldiers


Place: Venice
Time: 1355
Set design for Act II in the original production, which takes place near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo Luigi Verardi after Dominico Ferri - Gaetano Donizetti - Carrefour de St Jean et Paul. Dans l'Opera Marino Faliero.jpg
Set design for Act II in the original production, which takes place near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Act 1

Elena, the wife of Marin Faliero, Doge of Venice, is continually subjected to attacks on her reputation by the patrician Steno whose advances she has rejected. Steno then insults Israele Bertucci, the chief of the Venetian Arsenal in front of his workers. Steno is punished for these offenses, but Faliero is infuriated by the leniency of the punishment. At the Doge's Palace, Israele convinces Faliero to join a conspiracy against the Council of Forty, of which Steno is a member. Elena and her lover Fernando, Faliero's nephew, decide to part. He will leave the city to save her from dishonour. She gives him a veil to remember her by. The climax of the act takes place at a masked ball in the palace when Fernando challenges Steno to a duel for having insulted Elena once again.

Marino Faliero Doge of Venice

Marino Faliero was the 55th Doge of Venice, appointed on 11 September 1354.

Doge of Venice chief magistrate of Venetian Republic

The Doge of Venice, sometimes translated as Duke, was the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice between 726 and 1797.

Patrician (post-Roman Europe) post-Roman European social class; a formally defined class of governing upper classes found in metropolitan areas (Venice, Florence, Genoa, Amalfi) and Free cities of Germany (Nuremberg, Ravensburg, Augsburg, Konstanz, Lindau, Bern, Basel, Zurich)

Patricianship, the quality of belonging to a patriciate, began in the ancient world, where cities such as Ancient Rome had a class of patrician families whose members were the only people allowed to exercise many political functions. In the rise of European towns in the 12th and 13th century, the patriciate, a limited group of families with a special constitutional position, in Henri Pirenne's view, was the motive force. In 19th century central Europe, the term had become synonymous with the upper Bourgeoisie and can't be compared with the medieval patriciate in Central Europe. In the German-speaking parts of Europe as well as in the maritime republics of Italy, the patricians were as a matter of fact the ruling body of the medieval town and particularly in Italy part of the nobility.

Act 2

Fernando is found dying near the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, where the conspirators were to meet. Faliero vows to avenge his death.

Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice church in Venice, Italy

The Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, known in Venetian as San Zanipolo, is a church in the Castello sestiere of Venice, Italy.

Act 3

The conspiracy collapses following a betrayal by one of its members and the Doge is condemned to death at a trial in the Doge's Palace. Before his execution, Elena confesses her love affair with Fernando to him. Faliero begins to curse her, but sensing that his death is imminent, pardons her instead. Faliero is led off. Alone on the stage, Elena hears the sound of the executioner's axe, screams and faints. [5]


Marino Faliero,
Israele Bertucci,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label [6]
1976 Cesare Siepi,
Licinio Montefusco,
Giuliano Ciannella,
Marisa Galvany
Elio Boncompagni,
RAI Milan Symphony Orchestra
Audio CD: Bongiovanni
Cat: 2408/9-2; [7]
Myto Records
Cat: MCD 054.314
2002Michele Pertusi,
Roberto Servile,
Rockwell Blake,
Mariella Devia
Ottavio Dantone,
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio Parma
(Recording of a performance in Parma, 2 January)
Audio CD: House of Opera
Cat: CD 820
DVD: Hardy
Cat: HCD 4025
2008Giorgio Surian,
Luca Grassi,
Ivan Magri,
Rachele Stanisci
Bruno Cinquegrani,
Orchestra and Chorus of Bergamo Musica Festival Gaetano Donizetti,
(Filmed at the Teatro Donizetti, Bergamo, 31 October and 2 November)
DVD: Naxos,
Cat: VD 2.110616-17.

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  1. Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Marino Faliero, 12 March 1835" . L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia ‹See Tfd› (in Italian).
  2. 1 2 Ashbrook and Hibberd 2001, p. 237
  3. Black 1982, pp. 33—34.
  4. Mullins, Chris. "Donizetti's Marino Faliero at the 2008 Bergamo Music Festival". Opera Today. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. Synopsis based on Bidéra, Giovanni Emanuele (1840). Marino Faliero; tragedia lirica in tre atti, da rappresentarsi nell'I. R. Teatro alla Scala, la primavera 1840. Stamperia Gaspare Truffe
  6. Recordings of Marino Faliero on
  7. Tom Kaufman, "Marino Faliero", Opera Today online, 31 May 2006

Cited sources

Other sources