Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Repertoire

Rimsky-Korsakov – Mozart and Salieri

Mozart and Salieri, an opera in one act consisting of two scenes.

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), composer. Libretto derived from Alexander Puskhin's play of the same name.

First performance: 7 December 1898 in Moscow.

Strauss – Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos, Oper with a prologue and one act. Music composed by Richard Strauss. Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Spontini – La Vestale

La Vestale, a tragédie lyrique in three acts.

Mussorgsky – Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov, an opera in four acts with prologue


Modest Mussorgsky, composer. Libretto by the composer, based on Alexander Pushkin's drama Boris Godunov and Nikolai Karamazin's History of the Russian Empire


First performance: 8 February 1874 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg

Verdi – Il Trovatore (La Scala 1930)

Il Trovatore, dramma in four parts.

Strauss – Ariadne auf Naxos (Salzburg 1954)

Only a few months following the premiere of Der Rosenkavalier, Hugo von Hofmannsthal proposed a new opera to Richard Strauss based on Molière’s comedy-ballet, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (in German, Der Bürger als Edelmann).

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Berlin 1949)

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Singspiel in 3 Acts.

Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger, based on an earlier libretto by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner.

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Aix-En-Provence 1954)

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Singspiel in 3 Acts.

Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger, based on an earlier libretto by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner.

STRAUSS: Arabella – Dresden 2005

Arabella: Lyrische Komödie in three acts

MOZART: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Vienna 1956)

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Singspiel in 3 Acts.

Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). Libretto by Johann Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger, based on an earlier libretto by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner.

PONCHIELLI: La Gioconda

La Gioconda, dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–1886). Libretto by Arrigo Boito (under the pseudonym Tobia Gorrio), based upon Victor Hugo's Angelo, Tyrant of Padua (1835).

VERDI: Don Carlo

Don Carlo, an opera in four acts. Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901). Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille Du Locle after Friedrich von Schiller’s dramatic poem Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien. Revised version in four acts (French text revised by Du Locle, Italian translation by Achille de Lauzières and Angelo Zanardini).

VERDI: Un ballo in maschera

Un ballo in maschera, a melodramma in three acts.

Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Antonio Somma, based upon the work of Eugène Scribe Gustave III ou Le bal masqué (1833)

Giovanni Pacini: Medea

Medea: Melodramma tragico in three acts.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die Tote Stadt

Die Tote Stadt, an opera in three acts.

Music composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957). Libretto by Paul Schott (Julius and E. W. Korngold) after the novel Bruges la morte by Georges Rodenbach.

Stendhal on the Rossini Revolution

Some Details concerning the Revolution inaugurated by Rossini

PUCCINI: Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut, dramma lirico in quattro atti

STRAUSS : Elektra

Elektra: Tragedy in one act.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle

Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced both schedules and cast-lists for is Spring 2020 performances of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Given the series of individual productions already staged by the company since Fall 2016, that pave the way for the complete cycle, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s complete production should affirm the artistic might of the great composer.

Carlo Diacono: L’Alpino

“Diacono himself does not know what musical talent he possesses” – Mascagni

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Repertoire

Vincenzo Bellini [Source: Wikipedia]
30 Aug 2011

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.

Streaming Audio

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira: Ermonela Jaho; Nerestano: Varduhi Abrahamyan; Corasmino: Shalva Mukeria; Orosmane: Wenwei Zhang; Lusignano: Gezim Myshketa; Castiglione: Franck Bard; Fatima: Marianne Crebassa. Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon. Choeur de la Radio Lettone. Conductor: Enrique Mazzola. Live performance, Montpellier, Le Corum, Opéra Berlioz, 13 July 2009.

Above: Vincenzo Bellini [Source: Wikipedia]

 

Music composed by Vincenzo Bellini. Libretto by Felice Romani based on Voltaire’s Zaïre (1732).

First Performance: Parma, Teatro Ducale, 16 May 1829

Principal Roles:
Zaira, slave of the Sultan Soprano
Orosmane, Sultan of Jerusalem Bass
Nerestano, brother of Zaira Mezzo-soprano
Corasmino, vizier Tenor
Lusignano, father of Zaira and Nerestano Bass
Castiglione Tenor
Fatima Soprano
Meledor, official of the Sultan Bass

Synopsis

Act I

A magnificent gallery leading into the Harem; underground hall leading into the prisons; the inside of the Harem.

The beautiful slave Zaira is about to marry Orosmane, the Sultan of Jerusalem; there is a celebration in the harem, and odalisks and eunuchs dance and sing in his honor. The vizier Corasmino sees the Sultan’s decision to marry a Christian woman as an insult to Koranic law, especially at a time when their French enemies are about to descend on them; he therefore intends to prevent the wedding. Fatima, another slave in the harem, asks Zaira how she could have forgotten France and the French warrior who swore to free her, and renounced her Christian faith: but Zaira reminds her that she has had no news of that warrior since he returned to France, and that she now loves Orosmane, who loves her in return . Meanwhile the French knight Nerestano arrives at the Sultan’s court with the intention freeing Zaira: he was himself a prisoner of Orosmane but he was released: he learns however that the woman now loves Orosmane and has chosen the Muslim faith. and that the Sultan intends to release only the French knights who are still in his prisons but neither Zaira nor old Lusignano, a prince descended from the ancient Christian kings of Jerusalem and therefore hated by the Muslims. When they learn this, the prisoners decide to forego their freedom and accept the same fate as Lusignano. Zaira appears with Lusignano, whose freedom she has managed to obtain from Orosmane. By a necklace and a scar Lusignano recognizes Zaira and Nerestano as his daughter and son, who survived the massacre of Cesarea as children and were enslaved by the Muslims. When he discovers that Zaira has renounced her faith and is about in marry Orosmane, he orders her to repent and re-embrace Christianity: Zaira swears that she will do so.

Corasmino alerts the Sultan to the dangers which could arise from Lusignano return to Europe, but Orosmane does not want to refuse Zaira’s request. Meanwhile Nerestano in his turn attempts to persuade Zaira to end her liaison with the hated Sultan, reminding her that her old father is about to die of grief. Zaira does not wish to betray her love and Orosmane’s trust, but in the end she embraces her brother and decides to return to the Christian faith. The Sultan arrives and. when Zaira requests a postponement of the wedding, he suspects that Nerestano is a seducer and orders him. to leave the court.

Act II

Zaira’s rooms; a remote place near the quarters of the French knights; a hall of the Harem; a remote part of the Harem gardens.

Fatima encourages Zaira to forget Orosmane, who is so indignant at Zaira’s refusal that he wants to send her back among the slaves in the harem and find a woman more worthy of his love. Faced with Zaira’s tears, he asks for an explanation which she, bound by her promise to her brother, cannot give him at that moment. Orosmane agrees to wait one more day. Lusignano has died, and Nerestano blames his sister. The French knights ask Orosmane to postpone their departure so that they can comply with Lusignano’s wish to be buried in that land; the Sultan, out of love for Zaira, grants the request and pays no heed to warnings from Corasmino, who suspects that the request conceals a trick and who shows him a message in which Nerestano asks Zaira to meet him secretly. Orosmane is still doubtful and decides to test her: he will however have the secret message delivered to her. Zaira reads her brother’s letter and is torn between torment at having to betray the trust of her beloved and grief over her father’s death, for which she feels guilty. She faints into Fatima’s arms.

In a remote part of the harem gardens Orosmane and Corasmino are waiting to see if Zaira will go to the appointment with Nerestano. The pair arrive and Orosmane, seeing them ready to flee and believing them to be lovers, fatally wounds Zaira. At the revelation that they are brother and sister, he is overcome with grief and kills himself.

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):