Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband) is an opéra comique in one act, composed by Gaetano Donizetti to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz. The opera, a domestic comedy consisting of eight musical numbers connected by spoken dialogue, was completed in 1841 under its original title Deux hommes et une femme (Two Men and a Woman). Never performed in Donizetti's lifetime, Rita premiered posthumously at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 7 May 1860.
Opéra comique is a genre of French opera that contains spoken dialogue and arias. It emerged from the popular opéras comiques en vaudevilles of the Fair Theatres of St Germain and St Laurent, which combined existing popular tunes with spoken sections. Associated with the Paris theatre of the same name, opéra comique is not always comic or light in nature; Carmen, perhaps the most famous opéra comique, is a tragedy.
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.
In 1841, while Donizetti was in Paris waiting for the libretto to be completed for a commission by La Scala, he had a chance encounter with Gustave Vaëz, who had co-written the libretti for two of his earlier operas, Lucie de Lammermoor (the French version of Lucia di Lammermoor ) and La favorite . He asked Vaëz if he could provide a libretto for a short opera to keep him busy while waiting for the La Scala project to advance. Vaëz quickly created Deux hommes et une femme (Two Men and a Woman), a comic piece in one act consisting of eight musical numbers connected by spoken dialogue. According to Vaëz, Donizetti completed the score in eight days.However, the Opéra-Comique rejected it and Donizetti then had the libretto translated into Italian for an intended performance at the Teatro del Fondo in Naples. Following the death of the Teatro del Fondo's impresario, Domenico Barbaja, the Naples performance fell through. The score, still unperformed, was found in Donizetti's effects when he died in 1848.
La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian-language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.
La Favorite is a grand opera in four acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a French-language libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, based on the play Le comte de Comminges by Baculard d'Arnaud. The opera concerns the romantic struggles of the King of Castile, Alfonso XI and his mistress, the "favourite" Leonora, against the backdrop of the political wiles of receding Moorish Spain and the life of the Catholic Church. It premiered on December 2, 1840 at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris, France.
On 7 May 1860, twelve years after the composer's death, the opera premiered at the Opéra-Comique with the title Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband).
Although not a great success at the time and only sporadically performed in the 100 years following its premiere, it was revived and warmly received first in Rome in 1955 and then at the Piccola Scala in Milan in 1965. In the ensuing 50 years Rita (both in the original French and its Italian translation) has become one of Donizetti's most frequently performed operas.
In 2009 Casa Ricordi published a new critical edition of the score, which restored the original spoken French dialogue and removed the changes which had been made to the work for its posthumous premiere and in subsequent revivals. The original French version was reconstructed by the Italian musicologists, Paolo Rossini and Francesco Bellotto, from a recently discovered manuscript libretto with autograph annotations by Donizetti.
Casa Ricordi is a publisher of primarily classical music and opera. Its classical repertoire represents one of the important sources in the world through its publishing of the work of the major 19th-century Italian composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, and, later in the century, Giacomo Puccini, composers with whom one or another of the Ricordi family came into close contact.
The opera was presented in concert form by the New Century Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellows between 12 and 16 February 2014 in four Bay Area locations.
San Francisco Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.
The Adler Fellowship is a program to support young singers managed by the San Francisco Opera, started under the leadership of General Director Terence A. McEwen. The fellowship is named after Kurt Herbert Adler who managed the opera from 1953 until 1981. The fellowship comes with training and performance opportunities.
In March 2014 Opera Rara released Rita in the original French. Conducted by Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder, this was the first studio recording of the newly restored critical edition of the score. It features Katarina Karnéus as Rita, Barry Banks as Pepé and Christopher Maltman as Gasparo.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 7 May 1860|
(Conductor: - )
|Rita, landlady of the tavern||soprano||Constance-Caroline Faure-Lefèbvre|
|Peppe, her husband||tenor||Victor Warot|
|Gaspar, her former husband||baritone||Barielle|
|Bortolo, a servant||spoken role||Jean-Baptiste Faure|
At an inn belonging to Rita, the tyrannical and abusive wife of the timid Peppe, the couple finds that their lives are thrown into turmoil with the unexpected arrival of Gaspar, Rita's first husband, whom all believed to have drowned. In reality, Gaspar had run away to Canada. Believing that Rita has died in a fire, Gaspar has returned to obtain her death certificate so that he can remarry. When the two meet, Gaspar tries to run away. Peppe, however, sees this as an opportunity to free himself from Rita's slaps because Gaspar is her legitimate husband. The two men agree to a game such that whoever wins has to remain with Rita. Both try to lose, but ultimately the winner is Gaspar. Yet Rita, who had suffered frequently from the hand of Gaspar, refuses to return to be his wife. Gaspar, pretending he has lost the hand, induces Peppe to declare his love for Rita and his firm intention to remain as her husband. The crafty Gaspar, having achieved his purpose, takes his leave from the reconciled couple.
(Rita, Peppe, Gaspar)
Opera House and Orchestra
Orchestra da Camera Siciliana
|Audio CD: Nuova Era|
|2001||Teresa di Bari,|
Orchestra della Fondazione I.C.O. «Tito Schipa» di Lecce
|Audio CD: Kicco Classic|
Cat: KC 079
|Sir Mark Elder|
|Audio CD: Opera Rara|
Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali, also known as Viva la mamma, is a dramma giocoso, or opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni, adapted from Antonio Simeone Sografi's plays Le convenienze teatrali (1794) and Le inconvenienze teatrali (1800).
Alahor in Granata is an opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti to an anonymous Italian libretto after Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian's text Gonzalve de Cordoue, ou Granade reconquise (1793). However, it seems that the original basis of the libretto goes back to one by Felice Romani written for Meyerbeer in 1821, which in turn can be traced back through another iteration to begin with the de Florian version.
Olivo e Pasquale is a melodramma giocoso, a romantic comedy opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Jacopo Ferretti wrote the Italian libretto after Antonio Simeone Sografi's play.
Ugo, conte di Parigi is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis's Blanche d'Aquitaine. It premiered on 13 March 1832 at La Scala, Milan.
Il diluvio universale is an azione tragico-sacra, or opera, by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto was written by Domenico Gilardoni after Lord Byron's Heaven and Earth and Francesco Ringhieri's tragedy Il diluvio (1788).
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.
Torquato Tasso is a melodramma semiserio, or 'semi-serious' opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti and based on the life of the great poet Torquato Tasso. The Italian libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, who used a number of sources for his text, including works by Giovanni Rosini, Goethe, Goldoni, and Lord Byron as well as Tasso's actual poetry. It premiered on 9 September 1833 at the Teatro Valle, Rome.
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 Calais is a melodramma semiserio, a "semi-serious" opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti (1828), from a libretto by Domenico Gilardoni, based on Jean de Paris by Louis-Charles Caigniez.
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.
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.
Giovanni Ruffini was an Italian poet of the early 19th century. He is chiefly known for having written the draft of the libretto of the opera Don Pasquale for its composer 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.
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.
L'ange de Nisida is an opera semiseria in four acts by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, from a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz.
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."
La lettera anonima is a farce in one act composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1822 to a libretto by Giulio Genoino, a former monk and the official censor of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Genoino based his libretto on his own farce which, in turn, had been based on Mélite, ou Les fausses lettres by Pierre Corneille in 1630.
Jean-Nicolas-Gustave Van Nieuwen-Huysen was a Belgian playwright, librettist and translator of opera librettos. Born in Brussels, he studied law and earned a doctorate at the State University of Leuven. Since he had no desire to work as a lawyer, he devoted himself to a career as a playwright. He published a large number of plays. His first plays were staged from 1829 to 1834 in Brussels, which he left for Paris to work with librettist Alphonse Royer. Operas where Vaëz was involved as a librettist and translator are Lucia di Lammermoor (1839), La favorite and Rita, ou Le mari battu by Gaetano Donizetti (1840), and Jérusalem by Giuseppe Verdi. He died in Paris on 12 March 1862.
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.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.