Alzira (opera)

Alzira (opera)

"Alzira" is an opera in a prologue and two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, based on the play "Alzire, ou les Américains" by Voltaire. The first performance was at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, on August 12, 1845. The contemporary reviews were mixed, and the first run of the opera received only 4 further performance, the last on 21 August. [Schlitzer, Franco, "Verdi's "Alzira" at Naples" (April 1954). "Music & Letters", 35 (2): pp. 125-127.]



:Place: Peru :Time: 16th century

Alzira, an Inca princess, receives an offer of marriage from the "conquistadore" Gusmano, but she rejects this offer. She is faithful to the memory of her lover, the Peruvian warrior Zamoro, who is presumed dead after battle with the Spaniards. However, Zamoro appears, to the joy of Alzira and the anger of Gusmano.

During the course of the opera, Gusmano succeeds his father, Alvaro, as governor of Peru. It is also revealed that Zamoro had saved the life of Alvaro, but this was to embarrass his enemies. Nonetheless, honour requires that Gusmano allow Zamoro to go free.

Zamoro then leads a fresh attack against the "conquistadores", but is captured. Without hesitation, Gusmano condems Zamoro to death. In desperation, Alzira consents to marry Gusmano if he will spare Zamoro and release him. At the wedding for Alzira and Gusmano, Zamoro arrives and fatally stabs Gusmano. Before he dies, Gusmano forgives Zamoro and blesses the union of Alzira and Zamoro.

Noted arias

* "Risorto fra le tenebre" - Zamoro in Prologue
* "Un Inca, eccesso orribile" - Zamoro in Prologue
* "Eterna la memoria" - Gusmano in Act I, Scene 1
* "Quanto un mortal può chiedere" - Gusmano in Act I, Scene 1
* "Nell'astro più che fulgido" - Alzira in Act I, Scene 2
* "Da Gusman sul fragil barca" - Alzira in Act I, Scene 2
* "Irne lungi ancor dovrei" - Zamoro in Act II, Scene 2
* "Non di codarde lagrime" - Zamoro in Act II, Scene 2

elected recordings

* Orfeo C 05 7832: Ileana Cotrubas, Francisco Araiza, Renato Bruson, Donald George, Daniel Bonilla, Sofia Lis, Alexandru Ionita, Jan-Hendrik Rootering; Bavarian Radio Chorus; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lamberto Gardelli, conductor
* Philips 464 628-2: Marina Mescheriakova, Ramón Vargas, Paolo Gavanelli, Slobodan Stankovic, Wolfgang Barta, Jana Iliev, Jovo Reljin, Torsten Kerl; Chorus of the Grand Théâtre of Geneva; L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Fabio Luisi, conductorcite journal | url= | last=Graeme| first=Roland | title="Alzira". Giuseppe Verdi | journal=The Opera Quarterly | volume=18 | issue=2 | pages=280–283 | date=2002 | accessdate=2007-11-04 | doi=10.1093/oq/18.2.280]


External links

* [ Libretto]
* [ Aria database]

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