• Rossini's Maometto II - New Critical Edition - world premiere at Santa Fe Opera, July 14,2012

    Maometto II will be getting a brand new, historically important production in Santa Fe, featuring for the first time ever the brand new Critical Edition prepared by Dutch scholar Hans Schellevis. This version hasn't even been published yet, and is scheduled to appear in print in 2013, edited by musicologist Phillip Gossett, who is advising the production team in Santa Fe and will be present during rehearsals.

    This is very significant given that Maometto II was pretty much lost in its original form - that of the premiere in Naples (Teatro di San Carlo) on December 3, 1820. Rossini composed it when he was 28, and it suffered several delays until the premiere, and kept being modified by the composer on its original autograph copy. Subsequently and given its poor reception by the Neapolitan public, Rossini changed it extensively (with a happy ending) to give it again in Venice at La Fenice in December 1822. The Venetian version is what survived pretty much, until Rossini re-heated it again with extensive modifications (including, making of it a conflict between Turks and Greeks instead of Turks and Venetians like in the original) and a French libretto, resulting in Le Siège de Corinthe.

    The 1820 Neapolitan version is supposed to be much more original and daring than its sweetened Venetian and French versions, so this will be a rare opportunity to witness the composer's true intention with this piece.

    The production will feature two of Opera Lively's interviewees, Luca Pisaroni (whose answers are coming) in the title role, and Leah Crocetto as Anna.

    This is a synopsis of the original Neapolitan version:

    Year 1470, city of Negroponte, in the Aegean Sea.
    Act 1
    After the fall of Byzantium to the Turks, the Venetian city of Negroponte is under siege by Sultan Mehmed II (Maometto II in the opera, bass). The Head of the Venetians is Paolo Erisso (tenor), whose daughter Anna (soprano) is betrothed to young Venetian nobleman Calbo (trouser role, contralto or mezzo). Calbo wants Paolo Erisso to continue the fight, while another Venetian noble, Condulmiero, would rather yield. Anna is secretly in love with a foreigner she met in Corinth. The Muslims penetrate the city's defenses and make Erisso and Calbo prisoners. When the Sultan arrives, he and Anna mutually recognize themselves as the lovers who met in Corinth. Anna and her father are horrified. She threatens suicide unless Maometto releases his prisoners. Still in love with her, he does what she wants.

    Act 2

    Maometto wants to marry Anna and make of her his queen, but she refuses. Maometto leaves to prepare a final assault on the city, but he gives to Anna his imperial seal of authority to keep her safe. She gives the seal to Erisso. He marries her to Calbo in front of her mother's tomb, and they leave to fight against Maometto. They defeat him and he flees, but he comes back with his men to confront Anna and seek revenge. She tells him that she gave the seal to his father, married his rival, and stabs herself, dying on her mother's tomb.

    The opera's instrumentation is for 2 flutes/2 piccolos, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, serpent, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, bells, strings in the pit, and on stage there is a band, side drum, and harp.

    Maometto II has been rarely staged and recorded. There is a Phillips CD with Samuel Ramey in the title role in 1983.

    Alternative cover - 2004 re-issue:

    There is a bootleg DVD again with Ramey two years later in the Pesaro festival.
    A commercial DVD released by Dynamic exists, filmed at La Fenice in 2005.
    To buy it on Amazon.com, click [here]

    There is this one from La Scala on CD:

    Another performance in Pesaro in 2008 was released on CD:


    The Santa Fe cast and crew:

    • Anna - Leah Crocetto
    • Calbo - Patricia Bardon
    • Paolo - Bruce Sledge
    • Maometto - Luca Pisaroni
    • Conductor - Frédéric Chaslin
    • Director - David Alden
    • Scenic Designer - Jon Morrell
    • Costume Designer - Jon Morrell
    • Lighting Designer - Duane Schuler
    • Choreographer - Peggy Hickey

    The rarety of this opera on the world stages is not justified. It is musically sophisticated and dramatically complex. Arias for all soloists are beautiful, as well as the writing for the chorus. The conductor specializes in Belcanto and Rossini. Initial accounts attest to the fact that stage direction and set design are stunning.

    Here you can see video interviews with Luca Pisaroni, the conductor Frédéric Chaslin, and Rossini scholar Phillip Gossett, about the upcoming production:

    The opera will be given at the beautiful Santa Fe opera house on July 14, 18, and 27 at 8:30 PM, and August 2, 7, and 16 at 8 PM, 2012. There are still tickets available for the opening night, ranging between $37 (very few left at this price) and $225. Many tickets priced between $65 and $95 remain available. Prices drop a bit in August and range from $32 to $200 by the last performance.

    For more information and tickets, click [here]. I strongly encourage people to attend. Santa Fe Opera is a stunning open-air facility (with a roof), and the city and region are very beautiful, with plenty of touristic attractions such as gorgeous mountain views, charming inns and resorts, historical museums, and great restaurants.

    Luca Pisaroni and Leah Crocetto are two amazing singers, of rare quality. Luca's great voice and acting have already been extensively proven, and young rising star Leah (whom I've seen live on stage already) is the real deal, with a beautiful coloratura instrument and strong stage presence. Not to be missed!

    Santa Fe's peculiar architecture:

    Santa Fe's dramatic landscape



    Here are the lyrics for the beautiful cavatina for Anna in Act I, scene II:

    Ah! che invan sul mesto ciglio
    chiamo il dolce oblio de' mali.
    Non ho pace al rio periglio
    in cui veggo il genitor.

    E il timor se tace appena,
    son d'amor gli occulti strali...
    Onde ognor di pena in pena
    palpitante ondeggia il cor.

    Here are the lyrics for Maometto's spectacular entrance cavatina in Act I, scene IV:

    Sorgete: in sì bel giorno,
    o prodi miei guerrieri,
    a Maometto intorno
    venite ad esultar.

    Duce di tanti eroi
    crollar farò gl'imperi,
    e volerò con voi
    del mondo a trionfar.

    This is the beautiful poetry for the first one of the two ensembles at the end of act I:


    (Ritrovo l'amante
    nel crudo nemico...
    Qual barbaro istante!
    Che penso? che dico?
    Oh morte, te imploro:
    rimedio, ristoro
    a tanto dolor.)


    (Amante la figlia
    del crudo tiranno!
    Deh chi mi consiglia!
    Qual barbaro affanno!
    Oh morte, te imploro:
    rimedio, ristoro
    a tanto dolor!)


    (Risento nel petto
    all'alma sembianza
    d'un tenero affetto
    l'antica possanza...
    Qual magico incanto
    quel ciglio, quel pianto,
    quel muto dolor!)


    (Il padre fra l'ira
    ondeggia e l'affanno,
    la figlia delira
    pe 'l barbaro inganno...
    Oh cielo, te imploro:
    tu porgi ristoro
    a tanto dolor.)


    (Il duce all'aspetto
    d'inerme beltà,
    risente nel petto
    la spenta pietà!
    Qual magico incanto,
    quel ciglio, quel pianto
    ha sul vincitor!)

    This is Calbo's big coloratura aria in act II scene 3, another highlight:

    Non temer: d'un basso affetto
    non fu mai quel cor capace.
    Né saprebbe la sua pace
    mai comprar con la viltà.

    Del periglio al fiero aspetto
    ella intrepida già parmi
    impugnar lo scudo e l'armim
    d'una bella fedeltà.

    E d'un trono alla speranza
    dir, con placida sembianza,
    basso affetto ~ nel mio petto
    nido aver non mai potrà.

    This ritornello with Calbo, Anna, and Erisso marks the very emotional moment of their wedding ceremony in front of Anna's mother's tomb:

    In questi estremi istanti
    è tanto acerbo e nuovo
    l'affanno, il duol ch'io provo,
    ch'esprimerlo non so.

    Another emotional moment when Anna says she is ready to die:

    Quella morte che s'avanza
    io sospiro e non pavento,
    ché l'uscire di speranza
    è il più barbaro tormento,
    e dell'unica mia speme
    non mi resta che il rossor,
    onde in queste angosce estreme
    la mia vita è nel dolor.

    Il dover compiuto omai
    ho di figlia e cittadina;
    la mia fronte, o ciel piegai
    alla voce tua divina;
    ma l'iniquo e dolce affetto
    non è spento nel mio cor.
    Nella morte il fine aspetto
    degli affanni e dell'amor.

    And the final scene, when Anna kills herself (after a long tour de force for the soprano):


    (mostrando il sepolcro della madre)
    Sul cenere materno
    io porsi a lui la mano,
    il cenere materno
    abbia il mio sangue ancor.

    (si ferisce col pugnale che teneva celato)


    T'arresta! T'arresta!
    Che istante orribile,
    oh giorno di dolor!
    Già muore, oh dio, la misera,
    oh giorno di dolor!

    Anna cade morta al piè del sepolcro della madre.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Previews of upcoming productions. started by emiellucifuge View original post

free html visitor counters
hit counter

Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences