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Alfredo il Grande (Donizetti) Bergamo 2023 Antonino Siragusa, Gilda Fiume, Lodovico Filippo Ravizza, Adolfo Corrado

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Video Recording from: Donizetti OperaTube     FULL VIDEO

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Donizetti OperaTube  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs, itsubs  
  • Video Recording from: Donizetti OperaTube     FULL VIDEO

Alfredo the Great is an opera by Gaetano Donizetti , with a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola .

The opera debuted at the San Carlo on 2 July 1823, starring the famous Bergamo baritenor Andrea Nozzari, pillar of the Neapolitan company and regular of the most complex Rossini parts. Other famous singers participated in the premiere such as the soprano Elisabetta Ferron, the mezzo-soprano Teresa Cecconi and the basses Bartolomeo Botticelli and Michele Benedetti. But, despite the company’s prestige, the opera did not achieve any success, also due to an extremely unlikely libretto, and had no repeat performances, causing Donizetti’s discouragement: «I speak sincerely (it will be what it will be), but I don’t know do more”, as he wrote to Mayr before the “premiere”. Donizetti, as we know, knew how to do and actually did much more. But the Donizetti Opera Festival offers Alfredo the Great in his bicentenary an appealing test, in the certainty that there is no Donizetti title that does not contain at least a spark of his genius.

The opera was unsuccessful and was performed only once, and even Donizetti had written to Johann Simon Mayr about the opera :
«I speak sincerely (it will be what it will be), but I don’t know how to do more. ”

After 200 years of oblivion, the first performance in modern times of the opera took place at the Donizetti Theater as part of the festival dedicated to the composer, conducted by Corrado Rovaris and with Antonino Siragusa in the title role.

We are on the island of Athelney, in ninth century England, during the Danish invasion. Queen Amalia, accompanied by General Eduardo and disguised as a peasant, is desperately searching for her husband, King Alfred, who has gone into hiding in the countryside to escape the invaders who are hunting him. William, a farmer, offers them hospitality, but is unaware that the two fugitives are closely followed by the Danish general Atkins. In Guglielmo’s humble hut, Amalia finds Alfredo again, but their jubilation is short-lived. Atkins has followed them, has identified the hiding place and presents himself disguised as an Englishman to Alfredo to warn him that the Danes have discovered his hiding place. Guglielmo then makes his guests escape through a secret passage which the two follow on all fours but, returning to the open countryside, Alfredo and Amalia are surprised and captured by Atkins and the Danes. In the meantime, however, Eduardo has gathered the English troops, while William rushes in with a band of shepherds and armed farmers. The two groups converge on the invaders, clearly outnumbered. Alfredo is thus freed but, magnanimous, does not want to take advantage of his overwhelming superiority: he therefore frees Atkins and his men by meeting on the battlefield.

An immense English army has gathered for the next battle. In Gugliemo’s hut, Alfredo encourages him to be heroic together with Amelia. Enrichetta and Margherita, two peasants, also look forward to the next victory and the peace that will follow. The battle is in fact won by Alfredo’s soldiers, supported by William’s armed civilians. And yet the hero’s adventures are not over: on the run after the defeat of the disbanded Danish army, Atkins and her come across Queen Amalia accompanied by Henrietta and take them prisoner. Heroic, Amalia makes it her business to stab herself with a dagger rather than follow her captor. But at that point Eduardo, sent by Alfredo in search of his wife, bursts in together with Guglielmo: the English attack the Danish squad, disperse it, free Amalia and take Atkins prisoner. The opera thus ends in general jubilation: Alfredo and Amalia are reunited, the invading Danes are repelled and the people acclaim the king who is the liberator of the country.

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