Zoraida di Granata (also Zoraide di Granata or Zoraïda di Granata) is a melodramma eroico (opera seria or 'heroic' opera), in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. The Italian libretto had been partly prepared Bartolomeo Merelli (about whose tardiness the composer complained), based on the French play, Gonzalve de Cordoue ou Grenade Reconquise by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1791), and on a libretto by Luigi Romanelli to an opera by Nicolini called Abenamet e Zoraide.
Melodramma is a 17th-century Italian term for a text to be set as an opera, or the opera itself. In the 19th-century, it was used in a much narrower sense by English writers to discuss developments in the early Italian libretto, e.g., Rigoletto and Un ballo in maschera. Characteristic are the influence of French bourgeois drama, female instead of male protagonists, and the practice of opening the action with a chorus.
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.
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.
When Donizetti arrived in Rome, carrying a letter of introduction from his teacher and mentor Johann Simon Mayr to poet and librettist Jacopo Ferretti, he secured his help in revising Merelli's text.
Jacopo Ferretti was an Italian writer, poet and opera librettist. His name is sometimes written as Giacomo Ferretti.
Although it was Donizetti's first theatrical success "and the opera in which he began to adopt 'Rossinian' techniques",the original 1822 version of this violent love story was never given a complete performance because Amerigo Sbigoli, the tenor originally cast in the role of Abenamet, died shortly before the first night, with no replacement available. Donizetti quickly adapted this role for contralto, though omitting three numbers in the process.
Americo (Amerigo) Sbigoli was an Italian tenor.
The first performance took place at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, on 28 January 1822 and it and its composer received great acclaim in the weekly Notizie del giorno:
The Teatro Argentina is an opera house and theatre located in Largo di Torre Argentina, a square in Rome, Italy. One of the oldest theatres in Rome, it was constructed in 1731 and inaugurated on 31 January 1732 with Berenice by Domenico Sarro. It is built over part of the curia section of the Theatre of Pompey. This curia was the location of the assassination of Julius Caesar.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
The opera was presented in a revised edition at the same theatre on 7 January 1824, and given a revival in Lisbon in 1825.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 28 January 1822|
(Conductor: - )
|Almuzir, King of Granada||tenor||Domenico Donzelli|
|Almanzor, friend of Abenamet||bass||Gaetano Rambaldi|
|Zoraida, in love with, and loved by, Abenamet||soprano||Maria Ester Mombelli|
|Abenamet, General of the Moors||originally tenor|
(then substitute contralto)
| Amerigo Sbigoli |
|Ines, a Spanish slave and friend of Zoraida||mezzo-soprano||Gaetana Corini|
|Aw Zegri||bass||Alberto Torri|
The murderous and duplicitous Almuzir wishes to marry Zoraida, the daughter of the late king, who in turn loves Abenamet, the victorious General of the Moors. To save Abenamet from the sentence of death passed on him consequent to the machinations of Almuzir, Zoraida agrees to the marriage. She survives Abenamet’s doubts as to her fidelity and somewhat implausibly is allowed to marry him.
(Almuzir, Zoraida, Abenamet, Almanzor)
Opera House and Orchestra
|1998|| Bruce Ford,|
Paul Austin Kelly,
| David Parry,|
Orchestra of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields
|Audio CD: Opera Rara |
Cat: ORC 17
On CDs 1, 2, and 3 (part).
The Opera Rara recording contains an additional six pieces on CDs 3 (part) and 4.
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.
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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.
Amanda Juliet Holden is a British musician, librettist and translator.
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.