Opera Scotland

Gaetano Donizetti Suggest updates

Born Bergamo, 29 November 1797.

Died Bergamo, 8 April 1848.

Italian composer.

Gaetano Donizetti was perhaps the most prolifically successful composer of opera between Rossini and Verdi.  The list below starts with his first international success - by which point he had already composed more operas than Verdi did in his entire (much longer) career.  Most of the operas were romantic tragedies or near-tragedies, usually on historical themes.  His masterpiece is probably Lucia di Lammermoor, set in Scotland and derived from a novel by the hugely popular and influential Sir Walter Scott.  He did, however, sometimes let his delightful sense of mischief have free rein, particularly in L'elisir d'amore, La fille du régiment and Don Pasquale.

Several of his operas retained popularity throughout the nineteenth century, including Lucrezia BorgiaLa fille du régiment and La favorite.  In the early years of the twentieth century he was not generally admired, and on the rare occasions when the operas were performed they were subjected to substantial cuts which made it almost impossible for accurate assessments to be made.

The revival began in the 1950s, when even a wonderful masterpiece like L'elisir d'amore was little known.  Lucia di Lammermoor gradually regained popularity, and by the 1970s it was more usual to perform the work complete, so that the composer's expert pacing of the drama could be recognised.

In recent years many of his operas have been revived and recorded, and even further unknown scores discovered or reconstructed.  They have been found to achieve a remarkable degree of consistency and high quality.  However this profusion of riches clearly makes it very difficult for managements to select one to put on.

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:

32     Anna Bolena (Milan 1830) (Romani)

33    Francesca di Foix (Naples 1831) (Gilardoni)                                                                

34    La romanzesca e l'uomo nero (Naples 1831) (Gilardoni)

35    Gianni di Parigi (c1831, prod Milan 1839) (Romani)

36    Fausta (Naples 1832, rev Venice 1833) (Gilardoni, Tottola & cpsr)

37    Ugo, Conte di Parigi (Milan 1832) (Romani)

38     L'elisir d'amore (Milan 1832) (Romani)

39    Sancia di Castiglia (Naples 1832) (Salatino)

40    Il furioso al isola di San Domingo (Rome 1833) (Ferretti)

41    Parisina (Florence 1833) (Romani)

42    Torquato Tasso (Rome 1833) (Ferretti)

43    Lucrezia Borgia (Milan 1833) (Romani)

44    Rosmonda d'Inghilterra (Florence 1834) (Romani)

45    Maria Stuarda (1834; Milan 1835) (Bardari)

46    Buondelmonte (Naples 1834) (Salatino)

47    Gemma di Vergy (Milan 1834) (Bidera)

48    Marino Faliero (Paris 1835) (Bidera)

49     Lucia di Lammermoor (Naples 1835) (Cammarano)

50    Belisario (Venice 1836) (Cammarano)

51     Il campanello di notte (Naples 1836) (cpsr)

52    Betly, ossia La campanna svizzera (Naples 1836) (cpsr)

53     L'assedio di Calais (Naples 1836) (Cammarano)

54    Pia de'Tolomei (Venice 1837) (Cammarano)

55    Roberto Devereux, ossia Il conte d’Essex (Naples 1837, rev Paris 1838) (Cammarano)

56    Maria de Rudenz (Venice 1838) (Cammarano)

57    Poliuto (1838, prod Naples 1848) (Cammarano)

58    Gabriella di Vergy II (1838, perf Belfast 1978) (anon)

59    Le duc d'Albe (1839 unfin; comp Salvi Rome 1882 as 'Il duca d'alba') (Scribe & Duveyrier, rev Zanardini)

60    L'ange de Nisida (1839 unfin; ed Mantica perf London 2018) (Royer & Vaëz)

61    La Fille du régiment (Paris 1840) (St Georges & Bayard)

62    Les Martyrs (Paris 1840) (Scribe)

63     La Favorite (Paris 1840) (Royer, Vaëz & Scribe)

64    Adelia (Rome 1841) (Romani & Marini)

65    Rita, ou Le mari battu (1841; prod Paris 1860) (Vaëz)

66    Maria Padilla (Milan 1841) (Rossi)

67    Elisabetta (mid-1840s; concert perf London 1997) (Gilardoni, Leuven, Brunswick & cpsr)

68    Linda di Chamounix (Vienna 1842) (Rossi)

69    Caterina Cornaro (1842-3; Naples 1844) (Saccherò)

70    Ne m’oubliez pas (1843 unfin) (St Georges)                                                          

71     Don Pasquale (Paris 1843) (Ruffini & cpsr)

72    Maria di Rohan (Vienna 1843, rev Paris 1843) (Cammarano)

73    Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal (Paris 1843) (Scribe) 

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