Gaetano Donizetti – Roberto Devereux
Recorded live at Teatro La Fenice, Venice on 10/02/1972
About this Opera:
Roberto Devereux (or Roberto Devereux, ossia Il conte di Essex [Roberto Devereux, or the Earl of Essex]) is a tragedia lirica, or tragic opera, by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvatore Cammarano wrote the Italian libretto after François Ancelot’s tragedy Elisabeth d’Angleterre. It is loosely based on the life of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, an influential member of Queen Elizabeth’s court. It is one of a number of operas by Donizetti which deal with the Tudor period in English history and include Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Il castello di Kenilworth. It was first performed on October 29, 1837 at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples.
The plot of Roberto Devereux was hardly original and was liberally taken from Il Conte d’Essex by Felice Romani (1833). Romani’s widow charged Cammarano with plagiarism though the practice of stealing plots was very common between rival Italian opera houses. Robert Devereux was the subject of at least three French plays: Le Comte d’Essex by Pierre Corneille, Le Comte d’Essex by La Calprenede, and the source of this opera Elisabeth d’Angleterre by François Ancelot. There are many historical inaccuracies in the libretto but it makes for an excellent drama.
Though the opera is rarely performed today, it contains some of Donizetti’s best vocal writing. The opera is raw and emotional; it is a powerful vehicle for the soprano. Some of the highlights include the Act I duet between Elizabeth and Robert Nascondi, frena i palpiti. The final scene is one of the most dramatic and difficult in bel canto opera. As Elizabeth is going mad with the death of her lover, Quel sangue versato pushes romantic opera to the limits of melodic expression.
1. Sinfonia (12:55)
2. Act I – Introduzione e Cavatina Elisabetta (5:53)
3. Act I – Duetto (Elisabetta e Roberto) (4:04)
4. Act I – Dopo il Duetto di Elisabetta ed Essex (10:20)
5. Act I – Cavatina Nottingham (5:17)
6. Act I – Dopo la Cavatina die Nottingham (4:48)
7. Act I – Duetto Sara e Roberto (12:25)
1. Act II – Coro E Finale (24:06)
2. Act III – Recitativo (2:53)
3. Act III – Duetto Sara e Nottingham (8:45)
4. Act III – Scena ed Aria Roberto (6:02)
5. Act III – Ultima scena (19:32)
Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 286.36 b, 1 hour 57 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.