Donizetti Project

Apr 20, 2006 10:53 am
Inspired by the wonderful performance of Don Pasquale last weekend, my tickets to Lucrezia Borgia next week, and Arkiv Music’s Annual Spring Opera Sale (yes, its that time of year again, I have decided to start my Donizetti Project. This has been a long time goal of mine, to listen to as many of Donizetti’s operas as I could find in chronological order. I have Charles Osbourne’s book on the complete Bel Canto Operas and I will probably pick up a good biography to fill in some of the details.

Since Saturday I have listened to the one-act Pygmallion, the fragment Lâ Olympia, an aria from Enrico di Borgogna and am finally listening to Donizetti’s first full opera to be performed more than once, Pietro il Grande. Anyone want to make a guess about how long it will take me to get to Caterina Cornaro, his final completed opera? How many of the 70+ operas I will actually be able to track down and listen to? What my favorite Donizetti opera will be when I finally finish the project?


~ by severalfourmany on April 20, 2006.

5 Responses to “Donizetti Project”

  1. Apr 20, 2006 11:21 am
    What fun! I’ll really enjoy looking over your shoulder. I almost bought Pietro il Grande the other day. Should I have?

  2. Apr 20, 2006 12:15 pm
    Well, it’s the best I have heard so far… but he is only 22 and it is only his second complete opera (and the only one I have heard). The story is based on an anecdote about Peter the Great that was used by the much better-known Pacini a few years earlier in a “professional” opera. It has some good songs and a good sextet in Act II, not quite at the level of Lucia. I enjoy it, it is not a bad opera, I suspect there are much greater riches in his oeuvre, but probably a good example of very early Donizetti. On the other hand he is only a couple years away from writing Zoraida di Granata and La zingara which I think are much more interesting and enjoyable.

  3. Apr 20, 2006 12:14 pm
    I second! A monumental but joyous effort! In the current Opera News, they recommend as “the best general guide to the composer and his work” William Ashbrook’s Donizetti and His Operas (Cambridge).

  4. Apr 20, 2006 12:29 pm
    I believe that was the book I was thinking of getting. However, at $75 for the paperback on Amazon I won’t be buying a copy any time soon. Fortunately they have it at my local library, but I doubt they will let me check it out for the year or two I expect to be working on Donizetti!!

  5. Apr 20, 2006 5:13 pm
    Wow! That is ambitious. I also have the Osbourne book but I’m not up to such a project. However, let me know when you get up to Chapter 10 and I will join you in Anna Bolena. In fact I want to do all three queens.

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