2 Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) Born in Bergamo (North of Italy) Studied at Mayr’s school (on full scholarship)Married to Virginia Vasselli who died of cholera3 children died in infancy or stillbornContracted syphilis and suffered from insanityWrote 73 operas1830 first international success Anna Bolena1832 breaks contract with Naples1832 romantic comedy Elisir d’amore (MI)Early 1835 Paris, then return to Naples for1835 Lucia di Lammermoor (mad scene) great success1843 comic masterpiece Don Pasqualedeteriorating health and embarrassing moments (cerebro-spinal degeneration of syphilitic origin)In sanatorium in Paris for 17 months thenReturn to Bergamo where he dies
3 Donizetti’s operas (plus one unperformed and 4 second versions) Il Pigmalione (1816)Enrico di Borgogna (1818)Una follia (1818) (lost)Le nozze in villa (1821)Pietro il grande (1819)Zoraida di Granata (1822)La zingara (1822)La lettera anonima (1822)Chiara e Serafina, ossia I pirati (1822)Alfredo il grande (1823)L'ajo nell'imbarazzo (1824)Emilia di Liverpool (1824)Alahor in Granata (1826)Elvida (1826)Gabriella di Vergy (1826)Olivo e Pasquale (1827)Otto mesi in due ore (1827)Il borgomastro di Saardam (1827)Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1827)L’esule di Roma (1828)Alina, regina di Golconda (1828)Gianni di Calais (1828)Il paria (1829)Il giovedì grasso (1829) (Il nuovo Pourceaugnac)Il castello di Kenilworth (1829)I pazzi per progetto (1830)Il diluvio universale (1830)Imelda de' Lambertazzi (1830)Anna Bolena (1830)Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (1831)Gianni di Parigi (1831)Francesca di Foix (1831)La romanziera e l'uomo nero (1831)Fausta (1832) Ugo, conte di Parigi (1832)L'elisir d'amore (1832)Sancia di Castiglia (1832)Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo (1833)Parisina d'Este (1833)Torquato Tasso (1833)Lucrezia Borgia (1833)Rosmonda d'Inghilterra (1834)Gemma di Vergy (1834)Marino Faliero (1835)Maria Stuarda (1835)Lucia di Lammermoor (1835)Belisario (1836)Il campanello (1836)Betly, o La capanna svizzera (1836)L'assedio di Calais (1836)Roberto Devereux (1837)Maria de Rudenz (1838)Poliuto (1838)Pia de' Tolomei (1838)Le duc d'Albe (1839)Lucie de Lammermoor (1839)L'ange de Nisida (1839; unfinished)La fille du régiment (1840)Les martyrs (1840)La favorite (1840)Adelia (1841)Rita (1841)Maria Padilla (1841)Linda di Chamounix (1842)Don Pasquale (1843)Maria di Rohan (1843)Dom Sébastien (1843)Caterina Cornaro (1844)
4 Donizetti’s style Early more “rossinian” Primitive dramatic power of musicExtrovert, hearty romanticismObsessive dotted rhythms, absolute regularity of periodization, primitive harmonyCatchy rhythmsMiraculous spontaneity of melodiesSometimes Rossinian, more romantic vitality, later influenced by Bellini and romanticismIn comedies blend of humor and tendernessResponsive to individual qualities of singersSkill at presenting the conventional forms in ways that appear freshMoments of real pathos alongside great comic humor.All Elisir photos from the SFO productions and 2008
6 Lucrezia Borgia (1833) Melodramma in one prologue and 2 acts Libretto by Felice Romani (also Gianni di Parigi; Chiara e Serafina o Il pirata; Alina, regina di Golconda; Rosmonda d’Inghilterra; Anna Bolena; Ugo Conte di Parigi; L’elisir d’amore; Parisina; Adelia o La figlia dell’arciere)Premiered La Scala (MI) 26 December 1833Based on Victor Hugo’s play also 1833
7 Lucrezia Borgia ( )Illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia (Borja, from Valencia), future Pope Alexander VI and his lover Vanozza de’ Cattanei (Mantuan princess of house of Candia, courtesan)Her father and brother Cesare Borgia arranged marriages for her:Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro)—marriage annulled for political reason,Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie)—killed by order of Lucrezia’s brother Cesare,Alfonso I d’Este (Duke of Ferrara)
8 Lucrezia Borgia ( )Had many extramarital relationships, and perhaps also incestuous onesHad either 7 or 8 childrenLots of rumors on extravagant parties, relationships, poisonings, etc. but mostly due to her family not herKnew 5 languages, befriended poets etc., smart politicianHer role in the family machinations is unclear
9 Disputa di Santa Caterina (detail) Pinturicchio (c.1494),Disputa di Santa Caterina (detail)possible painting of Lucrezia Borgia,Appartamento Borgia, Sala dei Santi, Vatican
10 Bartolomeo Veneto Ritratto di donna Possibly Lucrezia Borgia Städelsches Kunstinstitut,Frankfurt
11 Ritratto di una giovane Dosso Dossi(1518 or 1535)Ritratto di una giovane(Lucrezia Borgia or herdaughter-in-law)National Gallery of Victoria
12 Characters Don Alfonso, duca di Ferrara (B) Donna Lucrezia Borgia (S), wife of AlfonsoGennaro (T) young nobleman (Lucrezia’s son)And:Maffio Orsini (MS) young noblemanJeppo Liverotto (T) young noblemanDon Apostolo Gazella (B) young noblemanAscanio Petrucci (B)Gubetta (B) Lucrezia’s emissaryRustighello (T) Duke’s helperAstolfo (B)In Venice and Ferrara, beginning of 16th century
13 Synopsis: prologueVenice: a group of young noblemen, including Gennaro, who is about to go to Ferrara as an ambassador, his friend Maffio Orsini and a few others are enjoying the Carnival at Palazzo Grimani. When his friends go off into the ball Gennaro stays back and sleeps. A beautiful woman arrives and while he is attracted by her she treats him with tender concern and affection, especially when he mentions the tribulations of his unknown mother. When the others arrive she wants to flee but is retained and Gennaro is horrified when all inform him that she is the hated Lucrezia Borgia, wife of Duke Alfonso I d’Este of Ferrara.
14 Act 1Ferrara: Duke Alfonso suspects his wife to have an affair with Gennaro and wants vengeance. Gennaro (sad thinking about his mother) and his friends are strolling around Ferrara and to prove he hates Lucrezia Gennaro disfigures a Borgia crest-of-arms to read “orgia” (orgy). Alfonso orders Gennaro seized and Lucrezia demands the culprit be punished. When she realizes, horrified, that it’s Gennaro she tries to save him but is forced to pick the method of death. Knowing she has an antidote, she picks poison, and after it is administered and the Duke leaves she gives the potion to Gennaro and tells him to flee Ferrara immediately.
15 Act 2Gennaro is convinced by Orsini not to leave for Venice before attending a party. They all drink and Orsini sings a brindisi. When they hear ominous voices singing of death they try to leave but they are locked in. Lucrezia, all in black, appears and tells them they have all been poisoned with the wine, for their insults. When she sees Gennaro she is horrified and swears she did not intend to extend her vengeance to him. She offers him the remaining antidote but he refuses to save only himself. As he is dying she tells him he is a Borgia and she is his mother. She collapses.
16 Lucrezia Borgia: notable musical moments Lucrezia: “Com’è bello” (aria di sortita)Lucrezia-Gennaro: duet “Di pescatore ignobile”Lucrezia, Duca, Gennaro: terzet finale Act 1 “Trafitto tosto ei sia”Orsini: “Il segreto per esser felici” (Brindisi)Lucrezia: “M’odi, ah m’odi” (duet with Gennaro)Venice: Palazzo GrimaniFerrara: Palazzo d’Este